To follow up on my last post, no I haven’t found a running skirt for the half yet.

But I did find this article that compares 15 of them! Yes, I suffer from the need to obsessively research before I buy something (or decorate a room, or go on a trip…).

[Update: I decided on a skort! This was a close second (in “berry”), but I like the gray/pink ones because they are a) inexpensive, b) not glaringly pink because, let’s be honest, when this is over will I really want to wear a hot pink running skort?), and c) it’s got a nice compression short liner in it to reduce chaffing. Can’t wait to get it and to break it in!]


My child woke up at 5:30 this morning, for no apparent reason. She was crying when I walked in bleary-eyed and was going on and on about Nemo. WTF? Consequently, I’m tired today. Really tired because, of course, I went to bed late. Why? Because I’m incapable of watching just one Buffy episode (which I watched after Lost). I had my usual 1/2 cup of coffee at home, but I needed another when I got to work. Much to my surprise there were leftovers from a meeting in the break room and I scored a lovely pastry.

In order to justify that ooey, gooey cherry pastry I ate, I thought I’d let you know what I’m doing, training-wise, for my big half marathon in April.

A typical exercise week looks like this (from here on out anyway – my birthday celebrations put everything on halt):

Tuesday: 1 hour Zumba class (with a teacher that I have quite the story about*)
Wednesday: 1 hour yoga session taught by my lovely friend who blogs about television shows over here
Thursday: 1 hour walk with my hoop trainer
Saturday: a brutal hoop walk training that will be at least 2 1/2 hours long from here on out (last week was 7 miles and I think we’re doing 7 again this weekend)

*So, my Zumba teacher. There’s no other way to put it: she’s hot. Doing Zumba 5 days a week means she has an incredible body (and she has 3 kids! what an inspiration!) and I happened to mention it to a few people. I made the joke that if I played the other team, she’d be in trouble. Well, my big mouth got me in an embarrassing situation because one of the friends I was telling this to? Not only does she know my teacher….she’s her freaking sister! So embarrassing, especially because she of course had to tell her sister about what I said. Oy. There goes Victoria T.M.I. Winters again. We all had a good laugh and nothing was awkward with last night’s class – don’t worry.

For the half marathon I think it would be really cute to run in a jogging skirt – a pink one to match my hoop. It’s super girly and silly, I know, but I am hula hooping a half marathon after all! Can’t get more girly and goofy than that! I’m starting to research prices now. Here are some that I like – I’m hoping for one under $40. Drop me a line if you have an recommendations!

Running Skirt

Our house is finally getting back to normalcy. I know, I know I had a party with a few people last weekend. Big deal, right? Well, it seems to take us a while to get things back to normal – for all the dishes to be washed, for laundry to be resumed, for all the leftover wine and cheese to be consumed, for meal planning and grocery shopping to be resumed – oh, and that minor thing called my full-time job. And a 2 year old to take care of. And a spouse to hang out with. Oh, and that silly half marathon I’m training for. How do women do it all? Seriously! I’m tired, y’all!

Speaking of the half marathon, I just got back from a hoop presentation ceremony where each of the 72 hoopers were given our hot pink hoops that we’ll be hooping the half marathon with. In case you don’t know why I’m doing this yet, other than to brag about the fact that I actually hula hooped 13.1 miles!, it’s to support breast cancer survivors. Check out the organization here. Having experienced thyroid cancer just one year ago, this is close to my heart and I’m very excited and proud to be part of a team of 72 women doing something fun, physically challenging, and so public in order to make a statement of support to those cancer survivors who want to take hoop classes in my community. I’m hooping for hope, baby! I’ll be the one with the huge smile, the sore knees, and the still visible scar on my neck that I wear as my badge of surviving cancer.

Speaking of being tired, yesterday was a big day as far as hoop training goes. I skipped the previous weekend due to birthday festivities, so this weekend was tough. Not only were we no longer in the confines of Shelby Bottom Park, but we hooped a whopping 7 miles! It was amazing being in clear view of the public as we walked the sidewalks all the way from East Nashville, through downtown, almost to Vandy, and back again. Cars honked, a full church bus full of teenage boys clapped and whooped for us (thanks to pent up hormones, no doubt), people gawked and inquired. It was tough on the knee (my right one in particular) mostly because I think it’s such an abnormal rhythm and stride and also because the shoes I have are several years old (I took care of that by dropping some serious change for some new ones at Fleet Feet yesterday). But it was also exhilarating and went surprisingly fast because of our cheerleaders along the way. It took 2 hours and 15 minutes which is a pretty good pace for hoop-walking. I have some friends on Facebook who have requested video of what I look like because they can’t picture it, so as soon as I find the time (ha!) I’ll have Huz record me and will share.

Until then, I ask you working women and mothers: how do you do it all? I want to do everything I do well – how do you find the time and energy to be a good parent, a good wife, a good friend, a good employee, a good housekeeper, and good to yourself?

Yesterday morning at 8:00 I wound my way down the circuitous roads of the park to find a bunch of other women waiting in cars. The weather had a slight chill (45 degrees and rising) but there was excitement in the air. Here I was, part of a big group of women – probably about 30-40 of us, all looking sleepy but ready to start training.

This was my first hoop walk because last Sunday was canceled due to rain. Most of the women had done it the Saturday before so they already had 2 miles of experience under their belts waists. But I was a virgin. I had only hula hooped standing in one spot – never actually walking while hooping.

So, off we went, the big lot of us sporting very different styles of hoop-walking. I tried and tried to hoop with my hips swinging from side to side like the cute girl in front of me, but try as I might the hoop wouldn’t stay on my hips. I finally decided to embrace my own style and to hoop-walk with my hips rocking in a front to back motion, which is much more how I walk anyway. I have no idea what I look like, but I did see several others who had less of a side-to-side womanly swing and marched on with a more sporty, non-curvy look. I think this is what I look like. And that’s fine with me. I just had to find my groove, figure out what was most natural for me, and go with it. And I did. For 3.75 miles! It took us 2 hours which felt like forever and, honestly, for most of it I felt like throwing down the hoop and just running the rest of the distance. I’m just not used to workouts taking so long – but I am realizing that it’s more than speed and distance – it’s about being part of a team and getting to know the other women in this hoop troupe. I’m so excited to be a part of this and I look forward to getting all the way to 13.1 miles on April 24th!

Enjoy the bloopers. 😉

1. When Claire gets excited about something and says “Oh boy!” or “Woo HOO!”

2. When I have a really tense day at work, go to therapy and get all relaxed, get flirted with by the guy at the Starbucks drive-through, and then go home for a hug from my kid and my man.

3. This Tweet that Huz posted today:

“Claire is lying on her back in the crib, reading a book and making me feed her raisins. I don’t even know what to say.”

4. When I lay Claire down to bed and tell her I love her so much and she says “so much” back.

5. How Claire calls a seal pup in her book “seal puff.”

6. The fact that I faced my fears last night at hoop class and learned to hula hoop AROUND MY NECK. You know, the one that I had cut open 10 months ago? Yeah, that one. I conquered that bitch, yo.

…but I feel I’m neglecting Through My Lens by twittering all my random thoughts every day.

1. Did anybody else hear the NPR story yesterday about the White House farmer’s market? Not only are they accepting food stamps and WIC coupons, but they are worth twice as much at the market in order to make fresh, locally-grown produce available to all – rich and poor. This reminded me again why I love our current administration.

2. Does anyone else find Project Runway a tad boring this year? The people aren’t interesting, nor are their designs. This might be my last season as a spectator.

3. So you all know how much fun I’m having hooping, right? I don’t own a scale so I don’t know if I’ve lost weight, but I can say that I’ve lost an inch on my waist just by hooping! I also taught a girlfriend how to hoop on Saturday – IN MY 3 SIZES TOO SMALL JEANS. Talk about progress! They are feeling much better and I still feel hot in them. Perhaps they were worth the price tag after all. I am firmly committed to my new fitness goal of hooping through the entire So You Think You Can Dance hour twice a week, making 3 hours of hooping a week when you count my Monday night class. Bring on the skinny!

4. The Bear’s been sick again this weekend. After having a high fever for nearly a week and then being completely fine all last week, something’s awry again. We had a lovely Fall* family morning together at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and then visited a huge toy store (just window shopping) before going for lunch. We made it to the door of the restaurant before she puked all over the sidewalk. Talk about appetizing. We turned around and went straight home. It’s weird, though, because she’s acting normal except for occasional vomiting. WTF!? My theory is that a) it’s another virus that she got from the 2 days of daycare last week or, my preferred theory, b) her back molars are coming in which is causing a lot of saliva and post nasal congestion which is causing her to gag and then, well, ralph.**

*Should seasons be capitalized? I always want to capitalize them, but I don’t know if Fall takes on religious connotations by being that way!? Grammarians? Theologians?

**I feel sorry for any little kid named Ralph. I mean, come on!

5. I quit my book group. I had a hard time even accepting the invitation to this group last year because it is full of academic women (3 are PhD faculty at Vanderbilt University or Belmont University; 1 has an MA in poetry from NYU) so I felt inferior from the start. I may have an English degree but it doesn’t mean I’m versed in all things literary. Far from it. I can barely read one novel a month because I’m so busy and tired at the end of the day. Having to read something not of my own choosing (I haven’t liked most of their choices this past year, to be honest) and then discussing them with a group of well-bonded women (they have been in deep friendships with one another for 5 years) has been less than fun. And that’s what I wanted from a book group: a fun environment to read and share ideas and I wanted to make new friendships. That’s the biggest problem I had, really. Some of the women are downright stiff and I never felt fully comfortable being with them. I have bonded with a couple of them and plan to continue those friendships outside of book group, but as a whole it just wasn’t what I was expecting. I hope I can keep my head high and not blame myself for being “too stupid” or something lame like that. It just wasn’t a good fit for me and that’s that.

Those are my ramblings for the day. What’s going on with you?

I have one more week of level one hoop class before I go on for level two. That’s right, I’m an addict! So much so that I practice before going to work. I’m getting better and learning to put new moves together, but there’s still a looong way to go before I’m awesome.

I think the business casual may have hindered my sweet moves. (ha ha)

So, hoop class. It’s super fun and I love moving again. I am so used to my routine of getting up early, going to work, going home, feeding, bathing and putting my child to bed, eating dinner, and flopping on the couch each night that exercising again feels really invigorating and energizing. Yes, it hurts, what with the hula hoop bruises and the sore hips from all the squatting and dipping, but I’m having a blast. It makes you move in sensual ways that you never would do in public unless you have to in order to keep a hoop of plastic rotating around your hips. It’s been fun to see my friends move in this way and it’s been fun to feel myself move in this way. It’s so feminine and freeing.

I aspire to be as good as this hooping teacher I found online. (FF through the first 40 seconds unless you like new agey-type images.)

Huz took a video of me hooping last night and while I am in NO WAY good yet, I wasn’t displeased by what I saw, especially since last week was my first time hooping and I could hardly keep the thing going.

Shall I show the video to the world, though? I didn’t have any makeup on at the time, I’m not exactly happy with my weight right now, I’m wearing “butch shorts” as Huz likes to call my sale-item cargo shorts, and I’m not very good. But I’m not bad either. Some of you have posted videos of yourself tap dancing, so I suppose this wouldn’t be all that out of the ordinary. Besides, I did show you my ass in tight jeans recently. Hmm. Decisions, decisions.