Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

National Novel Writing Month Word Count as of midday, day 6: 10,584 words. I’m on track, people! I sat in front of the fireplace today and wrote for three hours. Every day I think I’ll take less time or write more words overall than the day before, but that’s pretty much how long it takes me every single day to crank out the necessary 1,667 words.

Having completed one-fifth of the National Novel Writing Month challenge of writing 50,000 words, I feel pre-eminently qualified (ha!) to write about what NaNoWriMo has taught me so far.

1. With writing just as with exercise, it’s a lot more fun to knock it out in the morning than to put it off until the end of the day. Mind you, that’s not saying it’s any easier to do the work then, just that it’s less pressure and more rewarding to complete it early in the day.

2. The words that flow the fastest are the ones that come from your own experience. You always hear the advice to “write what you know” and now I know why. I simply have to trust that I have a unique experience and a unique perspective to offer.

3. While I’m on the topic of inspirational advice, let’s go with “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” True for the beginning runner, true for the beginning writer. Do not fear the blank page.

4. You know those photos that circulate every once in a while — the ones that show what you think you look like when you run (a graceful Olympian) and what you really look like when you run (a flailing maniac)? That’s how I feel as I’m writing. I feel like a poser, wannabe writer who is sure to be found out as the flailing maniac she really is. But then I remind myself of lesson #3 above. Repeat to self: “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Everyone has to start somewhere. I wouldn’t fault a beginning runner for not having perfect form at the start of her running journey. Why would I expect to be able to write perfect prose right out of the gate?

5. As a writer it’s hard to “show and not tell.” I tend toward very concise writing and speech, and my first instinct is to say, for example: “She worried what would come next” instead of “She hunched her shoulders and furrowed her brow in nervous anticipation.” When I worked as a lawyer, one seasoned paralegal offered me some advice on how to explain legal concepts to a client: “Write like you’re explaining the law to your grandmother.” I need to write for my grandmother. Set the scene. Describe the smells. Paint the characters. Don’t assume the reader sees any of what you see in your head.

6. Find your motivation. I know why I’m doing this, this mammoth marathon writing project. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at writing a novel and now is as good a time as any to do it. But that’s the big picture motivation. I find that the little picture motivation, for me, is the ability to log my word count for the day and see that blue progress line turn green when I’ve hit 1,667 for the day. It shouldn’t surprise me. After all, I log every mile that I swim, bike or run. Of course I take pleasure in logging every word written!

What lessons have you learned recently about running, about writing, about life? If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo and/or NaBloPoMo (please tell me you’re not doing both), how’s it going for you?

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More Google Fun

One of the things I love about blogging is the dialogue that can happen between the blogger and readers. Unfortunately for me though, sometimes people drive by my blog in their Google cars and deposit one-sided evidence that they’ve been here, leaving me wanting a chance to holler back after them. Now’s my chance to talk back to people who’ve reached the blog through the power of Google.

1. all we do is run santa barbara — Man, I’m jealous! I want to run Santa Barbara again! I am totally ready to move there as soon as someone sets me up with a mansion and a trust fund. The fresh air, the amazing vistas, the nice people, the yummy food, the overly-regulated-city-buildings-that-look-so-nice-and-uniform-and-soothing.

2. ran my first half marathon race report – I indeed have one of those first half marathon race reports! And my first full marathon too! And my first sprint triathlon! And my first Olympic tri.

3. shark poop. I’m sure shark do. Shark do doo-doo.

4. cubital fossa sweat. Now students, do you remember when we learned what your cubital fossa is? That’s right, cubital fossa sweat is sexy, sexy elbow pit sweat!

5. does stand up spinning worsen plantar fasciitis? YES. I wish I had known that would be the case for me. I do not have indoor spin bike shoes, which might help with that problem. Here’s how I managed to recover from plantar fasciitis.

6. is kt tape slippery? No, I’ve never found it so.

7. rash between legs. Um, you might want to see a doctor about that. If the rash is caused by running, though, I recommend Bodyglide Original Anti-Chafe Balm.

8. pantyhose head. Oh dear, are you planning on robbing a bank, or do you just find this Minute to Win It game funny?

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I do enjoy a chance to go on and on about myself (define:blogger), so I was pleased to see that recent half marathoner Wendy from slowgirlfastdog nominated me for a Liebster Award! With such a thrilling honor comes the great responsibility of naming 11 random things about myself and answering 11 random questions from the nominator.

Without further ado, I give you 11 random things about me:

1. In high school I appeared on the television game show Wheel of Fortune. I came home with consolation prizes including a 3-foot high chocolate Santa and more Rice-a-Roni than I ever wanted to eat.

2. It took nearly two years for me to conceive my first child. Infertility stinks and it’s a lonely, hidden sort of condition (so if you’re going through it too, know you have my sympathies). I was lucky and figured out the cause of my infertility (see random fact #3), and now I have three lovely girls ages 10, 7 and 4.

3. I have Graves’ Disease. That sounds more grave than it is. Basically, after the birth of my first daughter, my thyroid went into overdrive. I lost a lot of weight, my heart rate went up, and I developed insomnia. Once I figured it out, I went on anti-thyroid medication. Then my thyroid burned itself out completely, and now I’m on thyroid supplements. Thankfully, my thyroid levels have been normal for years now.

4. Over the course of having three young children, I breastfed for a total of about 9 years, sometimes tandem nursing a toddler and a baby at the same time. I loved it and blogged about it for three years on a breastfeeding blog that eventually had 100,000 pageviews a month. Sadly I’m no longer part of a blogging network that can drive in that kind of traffic!

5. I don’t like being called Angie and only a few close friends and family members can get away with calling me Ang. Call me Angela or better yet, Hey You Yes You the Girl Who Finished a Marathon.

6. I’ve lived in Minnesota, Michigan, Massachusetts and California. For one fun summer I lived in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and that’s my favorite big city (although I enjoyed living in Boston too).

7. I’m a lawyer but I choose to call myself a born-again non-lawyer. I graduated from University of Michigan law school in 1997 and went on to practice estate planning law for three years. It’s hard to believe it’s been 12 years since I’ve practiced law. I do not miss it one bit.

8. I want to write a novel one day. The problem is that I really want to have written it. I don’t actually want to write it.

9. I love to read and have read over 50 books this year. I am not joking when I say 18 of those books are audiobooks that I listened to while driving my kids back and forth to preschool and elementary school. I am currently reading Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, S is for Silence (Kinsey Millhone Mystery), and Running Doc’s Guide to Healthy Running: How to Fix Injuries, Stay Active, and Run Pain-Free, and I am listening to Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. I never used to read multiple books at once but my tolerance for that has increased.

10. I think the public library is the best invention ever. So much so that I make many monetary donations to the library each year (so what if the library calls them “overdue book fines.”)

11. As part of the Liebster Award I am supposed to nominate 11 other bloggers. I don’t wanna. (This is in keeping with my Official Policy Rule 10.4.1: Do not send chain letters.) If you want to participate though, I’d be happy to read your answers to my 11 questions. Either post the answers in the comments or a leave a link to your blog post with your 11 answers.

And now for my answers to Wendy’s 11 questions.

1. What was your favorite comic strip as a child? It’s a tie between Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes.
2. Do you own any pets? If so, what kind? I have a cat named Camo (she’s a calico cat with camo-like white, black and orange patches. I didn’t name her — she came with the house when we bought it!)
3. Why do you blog? Because for some reason my friends and family refuse to listen to me go on and on about running and triathlon and training and injuries and me me me me.
4. If you could only own one book, what would it be? Pride and Prejudice. Sure, you think I might say the Bible but I’m not religious (I’m spiritual).
5. Do you color inside the lines or outside? Inside. Who do you think I am?!
6. What word would your mother use to describe you? Delightful. Right Mom?
7. What word would your best friend use to describe you? Wife. Right Mike? I’ll let him come up with another word for me.
8. What is your biggest pet peeve? People who do not give cyclists and runners proper respect on the roads.
9. Have you ever been in a bar brawl? No. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been to a bar.
10. Do you believe in ghosts? No. Wait, what was that sound?!
11. What have you done to prepare for a zombie invasion? I keep an earthquake disaster kit of water and supplies in my garage, does that count?

And now my 11 questions for you all:

1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
2. What book are you reading right now?
3. What’s your favorite book?
4. What’s the farthest distance you’ve ever gone under your own power (racing or training or hiking or walking or whatever your definition of farthest distance and “own power” is)?
5. How many days a week do you work out?
6. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Explain.
7. What’s the most exotic place you’ve ever traveled to or the most interesting site/tourist attraction you’ve ever seen?
8. Do you think money can buy happiness?
9. How often do you eat fast food (I’m talking traditional fast food like McDonald’s, Taco Bell etc.)?
10. Do you buy organic?
11. What is one thing you’d like to work on changing about yourself?

Now you go!

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Don’t worry men, you don’t have to avert your eyes for this one, we’re not talking about that kind of burning. We’re talking about the burning questions that bring searchers to Fit Fun Mom via Google. I am here to help!

1. black running shoes are they bad

Now that depends on what you mean by “bad.” Bad as in “cool”? Totally! My husband says I look like I’m on a secret military mission when I wear my black Brooks and my black running tights and top. I like looking fierce!

Runner in black

The fierce Fit Fun Mom in black takes on Mammoth in winter

(Confession: I only bought the black pair because they were cheaper on Amazon and I am nothing if not cheap). Are black shoes bad in the traditional sense? Only if you’re concerned about visibility, and even then you are better off relying on your shirt and shorts to make you visible to others on the road.

2. can you swim breaststroke in a wetsuit?

Absolutely! A wetsuit might totally feel restrictive but it won’t keep you from swimming breaststroke. You won’t get far (you’re way faster doing freestyle) but you can do it. I do it when I suddenly need to catch my breath during a triathlon swim.

3. do kids have to swim freestyle in triathlon

Nope! Adults don’t have to swim freestyle either! In triathlon you can swim any which way you want as long as you are propelling yourself forward under your own power.

4. can you swim in the Santa Ana River?

Dude, the better question is why would you want to swim in the Santa Ana River? The Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board names one of its challenges as, “Reduce salts and nutrients in manure and wash water from dairy operations overlying the Chino Groundwater Basin that have severely degraded groundwater quality and threaten downstream water quality.” Eww! It goes on to say it needs to “[m]anage nonpoint sources of pathogens that continue to affect the quality of the Santa Ana River, thus rendering the river unsuitable for swimming.” So no, do not dip your toe in that river. Besides, half the time the river looks like this:

The Santa Ana River, not exactly flowing along swimmingly

5. penis for women to pee

I know I wrote about the Shewee: For Women on the Go “To Go” and I did talk about penis envy, but even I had to giggle when someone searched for “penis for women to pee.”

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