Amberskinner’s Weblog
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Ok, this post kinda has to do with running.  It has more to do with what happened directly following one of my runs. I know everyone is fiending for posts about my running escapades, but you’ll all have to wait until the next one:

So, after breaking my foot during the Marine Corps Marathon last October, taking five weeks off of running to recoup, and basically being a yoga/pilates/lazy-butt for the remainder of the winter, I decided to get running once again.  My first real run of 2009 was last Saturday, but it sucked and, therefore, doesn’t count.  So, my next attempt was Tuesday during lunch…

Just like I did nearly every weekday from last spring until October, I ran the little trail in the woods next to my office in Lanham during my lunch hour.  at precisely 11:10 am, I threw on my jogging gear, put on my blaring reggaeton running music, and headed out the front door.  Nothing unusual happened during the run. I didn’t trip, I didn’t run off the path, nothing flew into my face, I didn’t vomit, I didn’t nearly step on a huge, black snake (all of which have happened on this particular trail in the past).  BUUUUTTTT as soon as I was walking back from the gym to my office in the Tech building, I felt my eyes start to itch…uh oh.

So, it takes me about three, maybe four minutes to reach my office from the main building.  As soon as I walked into my office, I headed directly to Pithy’s desk to see if she could spot anything unusual in my eye (I was thinking an eyelash or something got caught in my eye and was making it itch).  I stop at Pithy’s desk and ask, “hey, do my eyes look weird? They kinda feel weird.” To which she replies, blank faced, “Oh. My. God. What happened?!”Obviously I head straight into the bathroom to look at my face.  Yep, eyes are totally swelling up.  My right eye looks like it was punched.

Ok, so I may (or may not) be a liiiiittle dramatic, and good thing (not really) I happen to have been clutching my cell phone because I immediately begin calling my boss, who is sitting mere feet from the bathroom, AND her boss. Wait…maybe I only called one of them. Anyway, I’m on the phone frantically (and when I say frantically, I really mean it) trying to explain what my eyes look like while hysterically splashing water on my face. Within moments, Pithy, our boss and our boss’ boss are in the bathroom with me while I freak out.  Pithy, the ever-calm, able-to-think-clearly-under-pressure/stress/emergency office mom (sorry for the mom reference, please don’t kill me), collected all the eye drops she could from the office medicine cabinet and her own personal stash.

At this point, I’m leaning sideways, squirting everything in my eyes pretty much at once.  And they just keep swelling.  The vision in my right eye is now milky and now the left eye is swelling too.  Worried – because I look like I was totally beat down – my boss asks the other two where the closest hospital is.  While they’re discussing the medical center options other than PG County hospital, I overhear the words, “Benadryl shot.”  Ok, time to really freak out!

No need to go into the shot phobia. To continue: I start saying again and again and again to everyone in the bathroom, “No shot! No Shot! No Shot! Please!” so, Pithy bolts out the door to CVS, where she gets a mega pack of Benadryl (thank God for Pithy).  In the meanwhile, my boss brings me her super huge (and very cute) sunglasses for me to mask my face whilst sprinting from the bathroom to my boss’ boss’ office, where I hide and wait for the drugs to arrive.

Upon her return with the meds, I am crashed out on two bean bags in the office, hiding under sunglasses, with my eyes still growing. I take the Benadryl (which immediaetly make me sleepy) and zone out. Two hours later, with still scarily swollen eyes, my nurses let me drive myself home.  Just in case the swelling hadn’t subsided by the next day, Pithy devised a genius plan in which she worked my horrible 6 am shift and I headed to the ER.  Luckily for me (probably not), my fear of shots and my all around ridiculousness meant that the plan never had to be used. I went in to work with slightly puffed eyes and wore my horrid-looking glasses all day 😦

So, fast forward to today; left eye is still a little puffy but no where near what it was two days ago.  That day, I went home, took some more Benadryl and slept from approximately 4 pm until 4:30 am the next day 🙂 Thank you boss lady, boss lady’s boss, and especially Pithy for talking/walking/shoving me through that psudo-emergency!!I still have no idea what I’m allergic to (please, do NOT  suggest that I’m allergic to running. It’s been said and is not funny anymore, Scooooootttt), but I am heading to the allergist this week for a full body work up. Until then, I’ve been banned from running on the little trail in the woods! The end 🙂


Warning: This blog post has nothing to do with running.

So, anyone who really knows me or works with me knows that I’m unhealthily obsessed with being to work on time.  Not just in the building on time, but logged onto my computer and ready to be a contributing member of my staff…on time.  As my shift begins at 6 am, I’m generally to work by quarter to or thereabouts.  I admit that weird things do sometimes happen to me (like my car not starting or being completely caked in ice) which force me to work from home.  This would not be a big deal except that I’m the only editor on in both the west coast and east coast offices for two hours.  And if I don’t get to work on time, THE WHOLE OFFICE WILL MELT!!

So, this morning I woke up as usual at 4:30 am, jumped in the shower, and got all ready for work.  I walk outside to rain/sleet, which is no big deal since there aren’t too many cars on the road yet at 5:15 in the morning.  I navigate down 16th street, through U street/Florida Ave., and out of the city via New York Ave without incident.  At this time it’s still raining/sleeting, which is still no big deal.  Highway 50 is a little slower than usual due to the weather, but nothing unexpected.

So by exit 2 I’ve broken away from the pack of slow moving cars and trucks and am galloping freely down the highway towards the office on exit 8.  Somewhere around exit 3A, something flies into my windshield, disrupting my wiper pattern.  I barely notice whatever it was that was momentarily on my windshield, foolishly thinking that my wiper blades will slice through the irritant and power on.  All of the sudden, the two wipers get tangled in each other and snap off. It happened in one second.  And one second later, I was barreling down highway 50 at approximately 75 miles an hour, without windshield wipers, and in the rain.

Ok, ok, ok, I’m not panicking…I roll down my window, stick my head out, glide onto the left shoulder, and put my hazard lights on.  Apparently though, I was NOT in the shoulder but rather halfway on the left lane.  After several large trucks laid on their horns whilst swerving to narrowly miss hitting my tiny Saturn, I figure it out and move properly to the shoulder.  At this point I call my boss to tell her, “um…I’m gonna be late, I think…”  Then I call my dad, who makes me furious by first asking me, “Well, how long is it gonna rain?” Are you kidding? How the F@*# would I know that?!  After which he gives me very sound advice to simply stay there with my hazards on until it gets light enough to drive.

OBVIOUSLY by now I’m worried about being late to work. Obviously. So I don’t listen to my dad and I don’t take my boss’ offer for her to come get me. I start driving again…slowly, slowly and on the shoulder. Exceeeeept, I can’t see anything. Nothing at all.  I have my head out the window and my hazards on but it’s a little hard to drive that way. Who knew?

Anyway, while I’m creeping along the shoulder, I accidentally hit one of those three-foot highway markers with the iridescent circles on the top.  Darn it.  I continue to creep along the shoulder, taking care to stop and wind around the poles from then on.  Finally I make it to the highway 50/beltway merge, but darn it again, I’m on the left shoulder and I need a right exit. Hmmmm, I wait until there are only a few cars and I gun it across five lanes of highway.  If you’ve ever been on highway 50 before 6 am, you’d know that along most exits are a row of semis who have parked so their drivers can catch a few hours sleep.  What does this mean for me? No shoulder on the right.  So, I’m gliding down the exit ramp to MLK highway at approximate 15 miles an hour with a looong string of honking motorists behind me, oh, and my head out the window.  Yesssss!

**I have to mention that the whole while I’m driving like this, I canNOT figure out why I’m getting honked at so much!  It’s clear that my car is broken from my hazard lights, RIGHT?  Wrong. This morning I figured out that only ONE of my blinkers works, so from behind it looks like I’m just trying to make a left turn. Again, yessss!

Ok, I get to work and literally run in the building, switch on my computer, and call the boss!  Only 20 minutes late, awesome! But I’m still distraught that I was not logged in by 6 am and am already thinking of how to cut my lunch break short to make up for a lost 20 minutes.

As I sit here reflecting upon my pre-dawn commute, I have to say that continuing to drive this morning was one of the dumbest decisions I’ve made since adolesence.  It was really stupid and dangerous, and I can’t believe I did that. But my boss said she’d bring me cookies today 🙂 The End.


7 quirky, perky, smirky things about me:

1) I can’t touch any cereal and/or milk unless it is chocolate.  The best combination is chocolate cereal with plain, white milk that turns chocolate by the time the cereal is gone. Coco Pebbles, Coco Puffs, etc…

2) I take freakishly long and copious notes (and still manage to forget what boss lady tells me almost as soon as I write it down).

3) Along the same vein, my day is almost totally ruined if I can’t get to work in time to log in by 6 am.

4) When I get drunk, I speak every in every language I know EXCEPT English (I also become violent more often than not, have been known to run through the streets barefoot, break various bones in zeee body, and semi-assault police officers.  Yeesh, this is why I now longer drink alcohol!)

5) I had kidney stones when I was 20.

6) My nicknames in college were “Tiger” – as in Tiger Woods – and “hodgepodge” due the many ethnicities (some identified and some not) that make up the Amber!

7) I once dated the heir to a Sri Lankan tea plantation who flew internationally every weekend to visit me!  Isn’t being lavished with bountiful gifts, vacations, shopping sprees, and food what true love is all about?!  Whoa, just kidding!

There is so much more.  Thankfully Pithy only asked for seven!


Well runners, I hope everyone’s been watching the Olympics — especially the track and field events — because they have been truly amazing.

Saturday night my sister and I caught the women’s marathon. Simply amazing! I’ve always been a big fan of Paula Radcliffe; besides being one of the greatest female distance runners in the world, she’s such a humble and cheery person. But, like Athens four years ago, she didn’t come close to placing this weekend. Instead, Romania’s Constantina Tomescu killed the race, finishing a good 20 seconds in front of silver medalist Catherine Ndereba of Kenya.

Watching them run mile after mile at sub 5:30 minute pace was simply amazing. The best flat out ONE mile time I have ever run was 5:28 minutes. That was only one mile; these women did 26.1 of them at roughly that speed. Incredible!

Moving on to the other track and field event that really impressed me — the men’s 100m sprint. Usain “Lightning” Bolt. Need I say more? The boy (literally still a boy at 21 years old) looked like he was jogging as he broke the world record at 9.69 seconds. Even though I don’t really like watching sprints (they’re over so damn fast), I certainly marveled at that race.

On another note: my sister completed her second triathlon yesterday in Luray, VA. This time she opted for the sprint distance and really improved her performance by a lot. This course required participants to jog up about two-three flights of slippery steps on the way out of the lake on the way to the transition area. Thinking I could warn Jess about the slippery steps, I was yelling, “Jess, don’t slip!!” while snapping pics of her. Of course as soon as she heard me shouting about halfway up the steps, she started slipping. Oops. At least she was smiling about it 🙂

she just murdered the bike portion, moving up more than a few spots. And she had so much left after the run that she sprinted in, allowing for only one quick snap of the back of her legs. Afterwards, she admitted that she prefers the sprint distance to the Olympic distance but is still going to train for the longer course for future races.

Next point of discussion: I got new running shoes on Saturday and was able to cut three minutes off my 8 mile time 🙂 It had been super foolish of me to keep running on such old shoes, but I’ve been broke as a joke for the past few months. It finally got to the point where my ankles and knees were fighting me, and so I broke down and took a trip to the shoe store 😦

Lastly but certainly not least(ly): The Press Club 5K is coming up. Vocus is apparently sponsoring us. I think so far we’ve got Shep, Cari and myself already signed up. Unfortunately the race is on a Saturday, meaning CS2 will not be able to attend.

The Baltimore half marathon and marathon (and 5K) registrations are still open for anyone who’s still interested 🙂 I think that’s all I had to discuss from the weekend. I hope everyone’s doing well! How’s the running coming along?

Peace out!


Running on a regular basis can slow the effects of ageing, a study by US researchers shows.

Elderly joggers were half as likely to die prematurely from conditions like cancer than non-runners.

They also enjoyed a healthier life with fewer disabilities, the Stanford University Medical Center team found.

Experts said the findings in Archives of Internal Medicine reinforced the importance that older people exercise regularly.

Survival of the fittest

The work tracked 500 older runners for more than 20 years, comparing them to a similar group of non-runners. All were in their 50s at the start of the study.

Nineteen years into the study, 34% of the non-runners had died compared to only 15% of the runners.

Both groups became more disabled with age, but for the runners the onset of disability started later – an average of 16 years later.

The health gap between the runners and non-runners continued to widen even as the subjects entered their ninth decade of life.

If you had to pick one thing to make people healthier as they age, it would be aerobic exercise
Lead author Professor James Fries

Running not only appeared to slow the rate of heart and artery related deaths, but was also associated with fewer early deaths from cancer, neurological disease, infections and other causes.

And there was no evidence that runners were more likely to suffer osteoarthritis or need total knee replacements than non-runners – something scientists have feared.

At the beginning of the study, the runners ran for about four hours a week on average. After 21 years, their weekly running time had reduced to around 76 minutes, but they were still seeing health benefits from taking regular exercise.

Lead author Professor James Fries, from the University of California at Stanford, said: “The study has a very pro-exercise message. If you had to pick one thing to make people healthier as they age, it would be aerobic exercise.

“The health benefits of exercise are greater than we thought.”

Age Concern says many older people do not exercise enough.

Figures show more than 90% of people in the UK over 75 fail to meet international guidelines of half-an-hour moderate intensity exercise at least five times a week.

Gordon Lishman, director general, said: “This research re-confirms the clear benefits of regular exercise for older people.

“Exercise can help older people to stay mobile and independent, ensure a healthy heart, keep weight and stress levels under control, and promote better sleep.

“While younger people are barraged with encouragement to lead healthier lifestyles, the health needs of older people are often overlooked.”

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/08/11 23:48:22 GMT



Okay loyal runners, I don’t know for sure, but I have the feeling that the Baltimore Half Marathon is going to fill up quickly. I registered yesterday and urge all of you to do the same 🙂 🙂

So far, CS2 (work schedule permitting), Jen, my sister and I are running the half marathon; and Shep has graciously agreed to represent the PRWeb Running Club in the 5K event to take place on the same day. Thanks Shep!

If anyone needs training plans, they can get a customized one at the Runner’s World website Also, I joined the Washington Running Club if anyone else is interested in meeting fellow runners and doing their weekly long runs in a group instead of solo. The club meets Sundays for the long runs and Wednesdays for speed training.

Let’s hear what everyone’s doing for training these days!

I have been logging miles in five-ten mile runs. I also found out the hard way that I need to be getting back into the weight room to strengthen my muscles. I slightly hurt my knee last week; nothing that a day off couldn’t fix. Nonetheless, that little injury scare confirmed the inevitable — that I positively need to get back to weights even though I hate the gym.

What about the rest of the team?


Words cannot express how proud I am of my sister Jessica! She did her fist triathlon yesterday in New Jersey! For everyone not familiar with a full, Olympic triathlon, it is 1 mile of swimming (yes, SWIMMING FOR AN ENTIRE MILE!!), followed by 25 miles of road biking and a 10K (6.2 mile) run to finish up.

I’ve done my fair share of running since my last blog post, however, nothing I’ve done quite compares to this. And for that reason, I’ll take this post to tell you all about Jessica’s tri 🙂

First off, she’s part of the DC Tri Club, which is a sizable club in the Mid-Atlantic and Atlantic regions; they had about 200 members travel up to New Jersey to compete in the state triathlon.

Instead of opting for the Sprint Triathlon, which is much faster and much shorter than the other, Jess jumped headlong into the Olympic triathlon for her very first one! The event opens with the mile-long swim, which was in a lake. The water (I can only imagine) was a nice temp at 80+ degrees but it was still a lake – meaning no pool walls to hang on to, only other frantic swimmers kicking and pushing themselves to their physical limits and NOT caring about what happens to the others. There were 2,000 participants in total, but they were broken up into different waves starting with the sprint men, sprint women, then the Elite Olympic men and women (who were absolutely amazing to watch) and then the first time Olympic tri athletes.

It is important for me to say that not everyone even made it out of the water. There were quite a few swimmers who had to be towed in by the safety kayaks (and quite a few more who dropped out at various stages of the race). But Jess swam the entire mile in the lake. As I was watching the waves before her (including the Elite men and women) emerge from the water to sprint to the transition area and jump on their bikes, it looked to me that a number of people were about to keel over from the crazy long swim, and die. Jess, however, smiled at the camera and later told me that the swim was “quite enjoyable” (Yea Jess!)

Next up, the 25 mile bike ride. As the spectator and supporter, my only jobs were to cheer and take pictures. I almost f-ed up getting pictures at this stage because I forgot that they (the athletes) put on bike shirts after swimming and I didn’t recognize her until she yelled “Amber!” whilst riding past me on her bike! I got a nice one of her back 😦 I’m such an idiot! Anyway, after jogging her bike to the “mount” area, she was off like lightning. Now, my sister is a very strong person (not just emotionally, but physically she is very strong) and we’re from Colorado, meaning to say that the bike is her strongest event. I almost cried as she pedaled off around the corner because I knew this leg of the race was her time to shine.

Since I missed her mounting her bike, I was determined to capture her race (literally) to the finish of the bike portion and dismount. I watched the waves before her come in and I have to say that triathlon athletes are some of the all around toughest athletes there are. I, for example, cannot bike or swim. I mean, I know how to do both, but definitely not at a competitive level; triathletes have to be able to “master” not just one, but three events. It’s great to be able to witness.

So anyway, Jess came in on her bike hard and fast (she didn’t even look tired). So fast, in fact, that I nearly missed her once again. Just so I wouldn’t miss her again, I had been trying to memorize the faces of the competitors near her, but she managed to move up several places on the bike ride, so that didn’t help me much. She did almost eat it on her dismount because her legs were, presumably, exhausted by that point. And then she was off and running…

I managed to sprint over to the mouth of the 10K trail just in time to snap Jess as she ran past. On the loop back through the spectators, I could see she was looking worn (as she should have after swimming a mile, biking 25 and running 3 miles, with 3+ still to come). As I was yelling my head off while trying to take pictures, she looked at me and said, “I. Am. So. Tired.” and ran past and disappeared into the woods.

The next time she appeared was on the last 500 meters into the finishing line. She had all the spectators up, yelling and cheering her on as she sprinted down the chute to the finish line! She did it all in about 3H 30M 🙂

My new hero!

True to form, one of the first things she said after I bombarded her at the finish line was, “Now that I finished that I need to concentrate on getting better.” I would guess that only about 0.5 percent of the world’s entire population have ever attempted a triathlon, and the first thing Jess says after finishing her first is that she needs to get better. That’s Jessie!

It was a glorious day yesterday. I am so proud of my little sister; she is admirable. She makes my want to try a triathlon (maybe a sprint tri, hehee).

Here are some pictures of Jess at various stages of her race:


Well runners, I’m back with renewed vigor! I know it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged about running (I’m just not that great of a consistent writer even though I do it daily and as a way to make my living) but I finally have something to talk about. Three things to be exact.

1) My sister and I decided that, to celebrate her 24th birthday on October 3, we are committing ourselves to running the Baltimore half marathon on October 11 🙂 Obviously, everyone is more than welcome to join us!

Even though we’re both pretty into exercise/fitness and are both pretty insanely competitive, we’ve never competed against each other in the same race before. This half marathon isn’t necessarily a competition, it’s just something fun that we’ll do together to celebrate her birthday, but I have the feeling it’s going to become a battle.

She has a triathlon next weekend in New Jersey that she’s been training for for, like, months now. And she’s in really good shape. I am super excited to drive up there with her and cheer her on. I believe this is her first tri, although she has done marathons and half marathons before. Me, I hate the biking and swimming, so I’m resigned to the running bit.

2) I nearly killed myself on my run last Thursday. I was moving along my normal Thursday night route (but this time I did it in reverse direction) when a guy passed me! I know there are lots of runners out there (well, not a whole lot, but a good number) and I know there are lots who are much better and faster than I am; but in this space and at that particular time, I am used to being one of the only runners on the trail and one of the fastest.

Anyway, this guy (in a blue shirt and headphones) ran up on me and passed me! Stunned, I drafted behind him for a while until I could pass him at a light. THEN our back and forth, passing and drafting turned into a race. WOW…sprinting from Bethesda down Wisconsin Ave. to my street in Tenley Town almost K.I.L.L.E.D. M.E. Sadly to say, I ultimately lost the race 😦

3) I started running sans ipod 🙂 This started a few weeks ago when I accidentally left my headphones plugged into my computer at work and was forced to go on my run without music. For the first time in a long while, I could count my steps and breath and could hear bikers and other runners. It was great! Now I do it all the time.

I think it’s helping me improve my running. Instead of singing songs in my head while I’m running, I’m now aware of my breathing and my steps and my running form. I think I’ll continue without my ipod maybe until the marathon. But, I am wondering if I should run with my music during the marathon since I will be running for more than 3 hours, but hopefully not more than 3H 30M.

What do you all think?


My parents write a weekly (or monthly, I can’t remember) column for a local paper that is syndicated in a few different markets.  It’s called “Behaviourisms” and basically consists of them fighting back and forth over some political/pop culture/social issues.  I found their latest one particularly interesting (mainly because they agree for once in their marriage).  Anyway, since I don’t have much to blog about in the way of running (it’s hot, running is hot and sweaty, long runs and short runs are all hot, the wind is hot, even when it’s not hot it’s still hot… you get the picture) I thought I’d share my parents’ latest piece:

Equal Stalls for All

She said: I have trouble understanding the hullabaloo about possible threats to safety in restrooms as the result of Senate Bill 200. The recent law adds sexual orientation to the list of prohibitions of discrimination in public accommodations. Conservative groups like Focus on the Family feel this legislation is a threat because transgendered persons might use the women’s restroom. It is obvious that the number of stalls for women in restrooms are usually far less than the number needing them. I am in far more danger of wetting my pants while waiting in line  and damaging my psyche than being accosted by a transgendered person.  Why would they want to wait when fast, zippy service in the men’s bathroom is available?

He said: I do have sympathy for you.  I didn’t appreciate the problem until I went to the 1970 World’s Fair. There the women’s restroom line required a 20 minute wait. It didn’t seem right to me then and still doesn’t. You are jealous that we get in and out. But, we still have to stand around and wait for our female companions. Woe to the man who doesn’t wait. Why would anyone want to endure this inequity? Why can’t  we do a better job of providing restroom facilities?  Mother nature treats us all equally. A hundred years ago, there was the great outdoors and one-holers. I haven’t seen any old cabins with two outhouses. Modern outdoor events provide equal access to unisex porti-potties. Many places, like the Starbucks in Frisco, have only one restroom that is shared equally. A casino in Mississippi has separate restrooms for men and women, but everyone shares the sinks.

She said: I disagree some. I always felt men have the advantage going to the bathroom on a small boat. Anyway, who knows what goes on behind closed doors in the bathrooms now? What about the unaltered males who are already in the girl’s bathroom? I’ve seen boys come in with their mothers because the moms don’t trust the safety of the men’s room enough to send the boy there alone. Is Focus going to guarantee a proper escort for these boys to use the segregated facilities safely?  Are they going to screen possible escorts to be sure they don’t include ex-pastors of large Denver evangelical churches? Who’s competent to judge femininity? Does Focus want a gender check every time someone enters a bathroom?

He said: Well, no one was checking when I went to a male restroom at a Denver restaurant, and while I was doing my business, a tall blond in high heels and a slinky black dress came out of the stalls. I then realized that she had declined to stand in line at the women’s restroom and had slipped into the men’s. How was I harmed?

Actually, the current system discriminates between squatters and standers; far more urinals are provided than stalls. And, as a certain Congressman found, one is far more apt to get in trouble sitting.  Maybe all bathrooms should provide stalls that reach to the floor so we don’t  have to fret about people who move their feet suggestively.

She said: All the fear-mongering seems even more senseless once you leave our country. As we found in Europe, men and women can share the restrooms. Sure it takes you aback at first, but the stalls offer privacy so people can go about their business without exposing anyone to anything. We could have really public restrooms like India or other parts of Asia where there are only partial stalls, a non-enclosed hole in the ground or a gutter.  There everything that goes on is open to public inspection. They do not have the luxury of worrying about which facility to use.

He said: Doesn’t it bother you that these Focus people are out to protect you from something, regardless of how you feel about it or how long you have to stand in line to relieve a biological stress? I don’t think they care about your pain at all.

A few local wags fear that the law  will also have an adverse impact on things like hiring educators.  Maybe scientists need to develop a brain implant that zaps anyone thinking impure or lustful thoughts. That would make my daughters safer from the likes of some local heterosexual educators who allegedly sent suggestive e-mails to girls or attempt to seduce players on their team. A zapper  would make more sense than having a TSA-type check to enter a restroom.

She said: I’m glad you are so supportive. I think all bathrooms should be equal opportunity- first come, first right to the empty stall. Us squatters want equal access and we won’t quit until we’re flush with victory.

He said: Whoa woman. Next thing I know you’ll be demanding that it should be against the law to leave the seat up.

The Skinners hope no matter where or how you go that you remember not to squat with your spurs on! They can be contacted at


One of the things I miss most about Colorado (other than my family…obviously) is trail running.  One of the best feelings in the world is getting out in the mountains or the desert with nothing in front of you but open space.  One of my favorite trails was a desert trail called Lion’s Head.  I used to run there at least once a week in the spring, summer, fall with my cross country team or alone. It was a beautiful desert scene with red rocks, sandstone, cactus, the works.  Since Western Colorado doesn’t get much rain, the ground is sand and stone — the best for a long, super difficult run.  Granted, Lion’s Head was nothing less than BRUTAL in the summer months; temperatures in that part of the country can easily get to 110 degrees in the summer, especially in the desert.  The only negative about Lion’s Head was that mountain bikers also love the trail.  Once in a while, one has to jump off for the two wheeler meanies (like Scott) 😦

Needless to say, running in the city or on a treadmill can’t hold a flame to Lion’s Head or my other beloved mountain, field, desert and backroad trails of Mesa County, Colorado.

BUUUUTTTTT, last night’s five mile run through Bethesda and Tenley Town was ok.  I HATE stopping for red lights.  I have, admittedly, been nearly killed by cars about 100 times because I’m rarely patient enough to wait for the walk sign and I much prefer risking my physical health dodging in and out of traffic. But for some reason the stoplight Gods were on my side last night 🙂 Usually when I do this particular route, I have to stop about ONE MILLION times for red lights; last night I only stopped twice.  It was a great run!

Bugs. The thing I always forget about summer is the bugs.  I remembered last night.  Heaving, mouth opened and sweaty whilst sprinting down the sidewalk is a great way to catch bugs…in your mouth.  The ones that don’t make it in your mouth get stuck to your sweating, sticky body.  It’s great (clearly I’m kidding)!

But I was so happy with my no-red-light run that I didn’t even mind the bugs. That was my great Wednesday night run 🙂

Happy Thursday running, super runners 🙂 🙂 🙂 (three smiley faces for Chris Shep)