Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dr. Suess for Nursing Moms: Wordle

I have loved the poem "Dr. Suess for Nursing Moms" since I first read it. I have no idea who to credit for this poem (though I wish I could!)...still...being on a Wordle kick I decided to input the poem into the generator and see what came up. Must say I love that the outstanding words are nurse, perfect, mommy's, milk and food!

Dr. Seuss for Nursing Moms
Would you nurse her in the park?
Would you nurse him in the dark?
Would you nurse him with a Boppy?
And when your boobs are feeling floppy?
I would nurse him in the park,
I would nurse her in the dark.
I’d nurse with or without a Boppy.
Floppy boobs will never stop me.
Can you nurse with your seat belt on?
Can you nurse from dusk till dawn?
Though she may pinch me, bite me, pull,
I will nurse her `till she’s full!
Can you nurse and make some soup?
Can you nurse and feed the group?
It makes her healthy strong and smart,
Mommy’s milk is the best start!
Would you nurse him at the game?
Would you nurse her in the rain?
In front of those who dare complain?
I would nurse him at the game.
I would nurse her in the rain.
As for those who protest lactation,
I have the perfect explanation.
Mommy’s milk is tailor made
It’s the perfect food, you need no aid.
Some may scoff and some may wriggle,
Avert their eyes or even giggle.
To those who can be cruel and rude,
Remind them breast’s the perfect food!
I would never scoff or giggle,
Roll my eyes or even wiggle!
I would not be so crass or crude,
I KNOW that this milk’s the perfect food!
We make the amount we need
The perfect temp for every feed.
There’s no compare to milk from breast-
The perfect food, above the rest.
Those sweet nursing smiles are oh so sweet,
Mommy’s milk is such a treat.
Human milk just can’t be beat.
I will nurse, in any case,
On the street or in your face.
I will not let my baby cry,
I’ll meet her needs, I’ll always try.
It’s not about what’s good for you,
It’s best for babies, through and through.
I will nurse her in my home,
I will nurse her when I roam.
Leave me be lads and ma’am.
I will nurse her, Mom I am.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Just another run: Wordle

I've seen these floating around in various locations before but had no idea I could create my own Wordle until MyFiveFingers shared the link. I simply had to create one for myself. I first used my blog address on their create page but I didn't like that Wordle because the words that became so prominent were all about Mocha's condition. I miss and will always love my dog but I wanted a Wordle about RUNNING. So I used the text from my just another run post and with just a little tweaking got this....

I'll be going back to San Diego to visit in January, and I'm already imagining the feel of sand between my toes again. I also have a trail marathon to look forward to, and it's only 3 weeks after the winter ultra. Booyah!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What the heck did I do this summer?

If you haven't figured it out I freakin' LOVE running and my daughter is the GREATEST thing that has happened in my life. I'm a mother runner. Try as I might I can't separate myself from this form of identity and that became glaringly apparent to me this summer. It's so much a part of my life and consumes just about all of my free time. Somehow my girl turned from a baby into a rambunctious toddler, and it blows my mind. Just last week we weaned naturally. I nursed (or pumped) every day for the past 630 days. That's 1 year, 8 months, 22 days! Yup...I kind of rock for that as well as other nursing mother runners out there making it work! the title of this post asks....what the heck did I do this summer? I took back control of my own life. I'm not there 100% and am relying on family for help but that infamous light at the end of the tunnel is getting bigger, and I'm positive it's not the kind that Wile E. Coyote sees right before he smashes face first into a wall. Be as it may, when it comes to what I love second most, which is running --first most would be my daughter-- here's a look at my summer.

Chula Vista Community Fun Run (5K) - With my bestie who's a BAMR with her duallie

Lactic Edge Triathlon - I PR'd my 5k as the relay runner and cheered my niece on for her first finish

5k Walk/Run for Breastfeeding and Tour de Boys and Girls Club Bike-a-thon - This was my first time doing back-to-back racing. Not sure I'll do it again. Placed 3rd in my age group and first overall stroller runner for the 5k.

Kolor for Kids 5k - To be honest I think these kind of races are really hyped up but nevertheless had a good time

The Green Circle Trail Colorama Marathon - This wasn't anything official, actually it was spur of the moment on my part, but I'm determined to make it an annual event. Check out the entire album here.

Kickapoo Reserve Dam Challenge (aka dry triathlon) - 7 mile kayak, 14 mile bike, 3 mile run. This is MY kind of triathlon. This is also the one that I showed up at with a lame bike.

With the end of summer and fall being in full frosty effect, I'm forcing myself to look forward to winter for a change. I've got my first winter ultramarathon at the end of the year and I splurged on all sorts of gear for it. I might actually train for it too!

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Looking Back: Belly Blessing

It's 4:39 a.m. and I'm waiting for the marathon to start at the London Olympics 2012. While I wait I start zoning out on Pinterest which brings me to looking up tattoos and henna. Before I know it I'm looking back at pictures of my belly blessing when I was pregnant with Milla.

Belly blessings are simply prenatal henna (henna is also called mehndi) and are believed to protect and bless the mother and child, specifically from any evil or malicious spirits that may be near during delivery. I was hoping for a water birth and decided on a water themed blessing. I contacted Crescent Moon Henna in San Diego, CA and gave her artistic freedom as long as it involved a fish with it's head facing down (this was to encourage my daughter to remain head down as a baby's head needed to be down in order for my birthing place to allow a water delivery). She thought it over, gave me a general idea what she was thinking then free-hand applied henna on my belly.

It was quite an experience. Milla normally was a very active baby (I have belly videos that prove she moved nonstop!). But during the henna session she remained quite calm while the henna artist, Natasha, started painting my belly with paste made from powdered leaves from the henna plant. The henna paste gives off such a wonderful smell. I was a little worried that I would be overcome with morning sickness but I had no queasiness over the strong smell. Natasha finished painting then tossed glitter all over and took a warm dryer to it. Oftentimes henna then gets wrapped in saran wrap for about 4-6 hours to allow maximum henna exposure on the skin. But I had scheduled my maternity photos right after because I needed the henna to be visible. I was about to move out of the state in about a week and I didn't have time to allow the normal 2-3 days for the dye to naturally darken and then have photos taken. I needed them NOW. Natasha handed me some of her homemade oil lotion (which to this day has been my favorite lotion ever and was the best lotion I had used for my stretched out belly--both prenatal and postpartum) and I was out the door and off to La Jolla Shores.

At Crescent Moon Henna

Natasha warned me not to be disappointed if the henna dye didn't turn out like I imagined. She said that on some ladies the stretched out skin doesn't take to henna too well. This was my henna 5 days later and it lasted for 2 weeks. I thought it took it well enough but I'm glad I got my photos taken with the henna still applied.

5 days later
I just had to go back with Milla and get some more. She was about 4.5 months old at the time. Natasha is always so nice and has been great at fitting me in. Again I just gave her general guidelines--all I wanted was flowers around Milla's name--and she goes along with it and does her thing. This stuff is seriously addicting and a great relief if you get the tattoo itch often (like I do!) but can't or don't want to commit to a real one at the moment.

Fresh henna

1 day after henna dried and flaked off

Getting that itch again....

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

R.I.P. Mocha

Today my dog, Mocha, was put down. This day was two years coming and not a surprise but still hurts very much. I was looking for a running companion and her previous owner was looking for a new owner who could meet her energy demands. We were a match! This dog loved to run and lived for it. She was hesitant to get to know me at first but then I ran about 20 miles with her that first week and everything changed. We logged a lot of miles together. She was my protection against anything out on the trail. She was my training partner. She was sometimes a pain in the ass. But when I think back on her time in my life I most fondly remember running in the black of night with her with our path lit by nothing but the light of a full moon. 

Finally finding a home
A man was working on a construction project up in Oregon where he found two puppies abandoned in a ditch. One was an apparently healthy female and the other was a male who had a gunshot wound. The man took the two puppies and brought them from Oregon to Orange County, California. His wife was a vet tech. It is unknown what happened to the brother puppy, but the sister puppy was given the name Hulu and was eventually adopted. Upon adoption her name was changed to Violet. Violet was a rambunctious puppy who like most puppies loved to chew things up. Her owner left her alone most of the day and often came home to a backyard that was dug up to pieces. She took Violet on walks but not many. She contacted the vet tech who set up the adoption and together they put up a new adoption ad looking for a ranch home for Violet. A woman who had just finished her first marathon earlier that year just happened to be looking for a running dog and came across the ad for a "perfect ranch dog" who would "only be considered for ranch farms." Although it was thought a long shot, she answered the ad and explained that she lived in an apartment without a yard but she was a marathoner looking for a running companion to join her for 20+ miles of running a week and specifically was looking for a catahoula leopard dog. They answered the ad back and after a brief phone call felt that this might be a suitable match. The potential owner drove from San Diego to L.A., about two hours north, with plans only to meet the dog. She ended up driving home with her. On the car ride back Violet was renamed to Mocha.

Mocha was now my new running partner.

Mocha's first night in her new home and very cautious of us
Battle against pemphigus
We got Mocha in March 2009 and for a solid year Mocha proved herself to be the best running partner I've ever had. She never complained, waited eagerly to run every day, and pushed me faster and farther than I anticipated on going each and every run. And she was the BEST deterrent against the crazies out there. I seriously think this dog is incapable of biting a human, but no one out on the trail knew that. They just took one look and hightailed it far away from us. Perfect.

Waiting for Dave to whip the ball right before the beach crash
In May 2010 it all started. Mocha was playing fetch with her dog brother from another mother and her fave guy, Dave, on Fiesta Island in San Diego. One far, and I mean far, fling from Dave sent both dogs reeling down the beach. Mocha, like always, beat Cooper to the ball and all we could see was ass over head as she slammed her muzzle into the ground and flipped over herself. She slowly hobbled back but came back ready for another go. Her muzzle was wickedly swollen by the time she got back to us.

2.5 weeks after beach crash, notice the scab on top of her nose?
We went home and her muzzle eventually returned to normal size but there was a small wound on top of her nose. It scabbed over repeatedly. We got some topical medicine but it kept scabbing over. I also noticed some similar scabbing around her left eye. This was troubling and both her and her brother needed updated shots so I took them to the vet. The vet did a scraping for mites, negative, and prescribed vitamins to include in her food. Diagnosis #1: Extreme sun sensitivity. They had hinted that this would never go away but didn't offer any ways to help her condition. Basically I was told Mocha would not heal unless we kept her out of the sun. We live in San Diego. How in the world was I suppose to do that? We tried to keep her locked up inside and only let her out when it was gloomy or in early morning and evening hours but her sores never healed.

This is when the licking started.

The licking never ended. Never, ever, ever. She was licking the pads right off her paws. She was also rubbing her nose against the floor, the couch, anything nearby. We figured this was why her nose never healed in the first place so I went to Petsmart and got a cone. When we were gone for work the cone went on. She got a break when we got home but it would go right back on when she started messing with her scabs again. We also started using bag balm on her nose and her feet. We would hold her muzzle closed to let the balm soak into the crusty lesion while we wrapped socks around her feet to let the balm soak into her pads. She was a mess. But for the first time her nose started healing. Progress! Just when we thought we got a firm grasp of the situation we would discover a new spot she had licked off on her pads or we would see her rubbing her nose until it was a bloody mess. This was an ongoing problem with no end in sight.

I took her to a different vet. Diagnosis #2: Lick granuloma. I was pregnant at this point and therefore had decreased my (aka our) mileage and was getting slower. The vet suggested that Mocha was getting stressed out that I wasn't running as much with her anymore and offered an anti-depressant. I was not gonna drug my dog up. Looking back maybe I should have but I was stubborn and I had MAJOR dog-mom guilt and put it on me to "fix" this without letting drug therapy do it for me. I ended up making a lot more trips to the beach and playing fetch. When my husband was gone for periods of time for work I went to Balboa Park or the beach as often as morning sickness allowed.

We quit trying to keep her out of the sun and kept her skin conditioned with bag balm. The constant exposure to salt from the ocean didn't seem to hurt her condition but almost seemed to help it. With this stagnation in the healing process we even were able to keep the cone off for days at a time.

Nov 2010 - scabby muzzle, swollen/scabby/raw paws

Dec 2010 - muzzle clearing up, scabs around eyes yet, paws getting better
Caring hands
In December 2010 I moved across country with two dogs back to Wisconsin. My mother-in-law was so incredibly generous to watch over our dogs during the cold winter months while I focused on giving birth and subsequently adjusting to life with a newborn. My mother-in-law even brought Mocha with her during her first visit to meet her new grand-daughter.

Mocha meets Milla
She watched over Mocha and tended to her lesions until I was able to come get her at the end of spring to come live on my parent's farm. I took Mocha for a run while up north and after 3 miles she suffered a cracked paw. I wanted to vomit. I had never seen this happen before and felt terrible. My mother-in-law gave me some bandages to wrap the paw up and showed me how best to care for it. 

Mocha's boyfriend, Jake, who belongs to my mother-in-law
I didn't have Mocha for very long before a scary event happened. Her paws swelled up to twice the normal size and were incredibly hot to the touch. I freaked out! I called my step-sister-in-law who is a vet tech and she recommended I soak her paws in the cold bath water and bring her in in the morning. The hotness went away after about half an hour and the swelling was gone an hour or two later. The next day I brought Mocha in to vet number three. Diagnosis #3: Well....... I don't really recall the vet given Mocha any diagnosis but she did mention that perhaps something environmental might have triggered the latest event and could also explain some of the other conditions. She wanted to see what a topical steroid would do for the lesions and also prescribed an antibiotic. I felt hopeful that the steroid would help. Turns out it was the worst thing we could have done to Mocha. The lesions all tripled in size and Mocha basically attacked her own feet. I called the vet who said to immediately stop the topical steroid. 

We left things alone, sans medicine, and went back to using bag balm. 

Eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and chin even ickier, can barely walk on her paws from pain/swelling 
By June 2011 Mocha's eyes had almost closed up completely and she wasn't able to tolerate walking on her paws. I called another vet in tears not knowing what to do for her. They said bring her in right away. So I did. The new vet looked at her, was very kind to her, looked her all up and down, asked to do another mite scraping just in case it was missed before (negative), did an ultraviolet light check for fungus which no other vet did (negative), and gave a I-see kind of "hmph" when I told her about the topical steroid. With a knowing confidence she went on to gave us a diagnosis. Diagnosis #4: Pemphigus. More specifically the vet said "She probably has pemphigus." The only thing she didn't know was which type of pemphigus she had although she guessed she had the more mild kind. She offered an expensive biopsy in order to determine which one but ultimately agreed to treat on her hunch. Mocha was started on a high dose of the steroid prednisone. Three weeks later I was astounded.

Finally a diagnosis of pemphigus after 2 years! This is 3 weeks after starting treatment..

Strict orders from the vet not to go running much less walking yet because the pads were extremely fragile. Notice the yellow color to them? All of that yellow is a hard damaged layer that has to slough off before given the green light to run.

Starting to look normal again
The next battle: There's a runner in there somewhere
It was almost a year ago that we first started prednisone. Mocha gained about 30 pounds since starting it. Mocha used to be a lean 55-57 pounds. I never thought she would end up a porker! She was getting quite lazy too. But she was healing. I was even able to start running with her again but she never got back to 100%. We enjoyed short runs at a much slower pace. Too fast would leave her limping. And for the first time in a looooong time I saw her wag her tail and want to go for runs again. There was a runner in her yet but there was also a constant struggle with letting her test out her re-found strength versus not letting her overdo it. More mom-dog guilt. There were days when even a mile walk/run would do her in for a couple days. Short rounds of fetch and walks became her new favorite past time. 

On July 20, 2012 Mocha left us. I will always cherish the miles we logged together. Love you Mocha!

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Even the Great Fall...Please Get Back Up!

In the first few months after giving birth I was up late one night nursing my daughter and fantasizing about my return to running. That ultra goal was constantly nagging me, and I was trying to figure out if I could continue the demands of nursing while taking on an ultramarathon training schedule. It just had to be possible. To my delight I came across two women who proved to be the very inspiration I was seeking.

Shannon I love this woman's story. She was very much a non-runner until an ah-ha moment while nursing her child started her on the path to becoming the woman she is today. I dove into her life story and tried finding more info specifically on if she did ultras while nursing. I found that she continued running long distances while pregnant (wish I had seen her website when I was pregnant--that would have made me a lot less anxious!) but no answer to my question.

Then I came across Robyn Flores. Her tiny little TMI paragraph at the end of her Keys 100 Mile Report gave me the inspiration I needed. I contacted her and she was nice enough to specifically answer my questions about running ultras and breastfeeding. She never responded to my followup email but that first email was practically gold to me. Her advice was a great starting point to my return to running.

After relaxin stopped making my hips feel like they would slide apart, I dove into getting my running legs back. These two women are very dear inspirations to me. I think of them constantly throughout training. I've meet only one of them. Shannon was at a health expo and introduced me to her Moeben line, probably my favorite race gear in my possession. Her Moeben line, much to my dismay, seems to be non-active as I never received responses to inquiries about starting a charity campaign with them for Team BfB, and there has been no recent activity about the company for the past 2 years.

Thanks to Facebook though I've been able to get my Shannon-fix (personal page only, Moeben appears dead with only me posting lately) and my Robyn-fix for the past year.  I have eagerly followed Shannon's quest for the Grand Slam. I was constantly checking the live feed yesterday to see her progress but she suffered a bad fall during the Western States 100 and had to drop. Love you Shannon! Heal up and get back out there! My Robyn-fix is momentarily dead too since after announcing she would again attempt the Keys 100 (very much to my excitement) she has deactivated her Facebook account.    

I wonder if either of these women ever realize how much of an inspiration they are to others?  I would probably faint if I ever got the chance to run with either of them. 

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Friday, June 8, 2012

National Running Day 2012

This is my 2nd year celebrating National Running Day. Last year I ran it by myself. This year I was determined to involve others. I handed a few brochures around local businesses and asked my family and friends to help spread the word. Before I go any further, let me address a couple of FAQs. 
What is National Running Day? “National Running Day, held annually on the first Wednesday in June, is a day when runners everywhere declare their passion for running. Wherever we are and whomever we’re with, we run—fast or slow, alone or with others, all over town or just around the block. It is a coast-to-coast celebration of a sport and activity that’s simple, inexpensive, and fun. It’s the perfect way for longtime runners to reaffirm their love of running and for beginners to kick off a lifetime and life-changing commitment.”
When did National Running Day start? Who started it? This one is tricky. They do not address this very well on NRD’s site but after some Googling I found another blogger who claims he received a response from NRD stating it started back in 2009 as a collaborative effort of the organizations listed on their “About” page.
What do I have to do? The core purpose is to get out and run, but part of the fun of NRD is to reflect on why you run. Their “I run…” bib logo offers a fun way to put those thoughts down in words and show others. On their website I was able to download a blank bib which I printed and brought to our local meetup as an icebreaker. There also was the option to fill out the bib virtually and share on your Facebook wall. Here was my virtual bib.

Do I have to run? No, you don’t. I encouraged people to join along for a walk. I started my running career as a walker. The running community is very friendly and having a couple people along with you and encouraging you may be just the push you need to try running.  Never judge a walker. Once during a marathon I ran I was passed by a walker. It’s true!
How did you get involved? This is a nationwide community effort so anyone, anywhere can host their own meetup. has all the info on what to do. Next year, go ahead and give hosting your own local meetup a go. It’s free so you have nothing to lose!
The Local Scoop
On June 6th at 6 p.m. a group of walkers and runners joined together at Bukolt Park to run the Riverfront Trail. A total of 12 people participated: 7 adults and 5 children (3 of these children were pushed along in strollers). After taking a moment to introduce ourselves and fill out our “I run…” bibs we headed north for a 0.75 mile loop. Then we headed south and made a 1.75 mile loop.  With the loop design of this run we were able to reconnect the runners with the walkers throughout the run. The asphalt trail offered a nice flat run with beautiful river views. Along the way there were friendly people speckled all along the trail, ducks were nearby with their ducklings, a few dogs and one scared puppy were playing together along the path, and we also saw what appeared to be the start of a concert in Pioneer Park.
Meet and greet while filling out their "I run..." bibs
Local meetup at Bukolt Park for National Running Day
"I run because it's fun!" - Halie
After talking with the group I have officially decided to launch a running group here in Stevens Point, WI. Come out for a run, meet some new friends, share your stories and achieve your running goals! For more details, email me at
So, why do YOU run?
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

New Kicks

A couple months ago I entered into "The World's Greatest Trail Competition" by Ecco Biom. I was chosen as a finalist with a photo from the Oriflamme preview run and a short description of my journey to becoming an ultramarathoner (or would that be ultramarathonist? haha). I didn't win the competition but I did score some new kicks and a voucher for Gore Running Wear. Check out my new kicks!

Love the reuseable canvas box

The goods 

Love the black and purple - how did they know I love these colors together?!

The heel looks crazy to me! This is very different from the minimalist shoes I've been sporting lately. But mama needed new trail shoes.

My new signature shoe pose! 

I never truly liked the traditional view of showing off your kicks from your own personal view. You only get to see the top of the shoe and as we all know the real story of the shoe is in it's sole. Here is the description of the shoe from

  • Biomechanical flexible midsole construction allows a natural running motion and perfect ground adaption
  • Construction offers a perfect balance of flexibility and support
  • Direct-injected PU midsole
  • Excellent grip and traction on loose and muddy surfaces for the everyday adventurer
  • Offers the support the foot needs combined with superb sock-like fit
  • Rugged rubber outsole with specially designed traction pattern
  • Stable for tough terrain without compromising on flexibility
  • Yak leather uppers with a reinforced midfoot

I'm pretty excited to test these tonight. It is National Running Day afterall and I'm hosting a run in Stevens Point, WI. Hope to see you there! 

In stride with all my love,


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