Thursday, January 16, 2014

Why I don't eat kale.

I am boycotting kale.
There are very few foods that rub me the wrong way, and kale is one of them. Ketchup is another. I know, that is so un-American.

It may not be the kale's fault, but the people who swear by it. People brag constantly that they are getting more fiber than you, like that makes them better. I get plenty of fiber. I don't stoop to following the latest kale trend.

2012: " I'm so much better than you because I made gluten-free pancakes from scratch!"
2013: "I'm so much better than you because I made a kale shake in my Nutri-bullet this morning and shit green."

Good for you. Really.

Na-na na-na boo-boo stick your head in doo-doo. I don't care how good kale is for you, I'm not putting it in my mouth unless I somehow lose partial sensation of my taste buds. Now which taste buds would those be? Sweet, no. Um, salty. Not really. Bitter. Getting closer. Is there a taste bud for dirt?

"But, it's so delicious," you say.

Every time someone says kale tastes good, they usually follow it up with, "Yeah, I just put some apples, raisins, and lemon juice on it, and it's so yummy."

So, what they are really telling me is - "Apples, raisins, and lemon juice are delicious." I don't disagree with that. Also, baking it into chips with a bunch of salt, or deep frying it? Of course that tastes good.

A nod to one friend who admits she likes kale plain, and raw. Wow, that takes stamina!

I like broccoli. I could eat broccoli cooked, uncooked, with or without salt and pepper, I could eat it with a box, I could eat it with a fox. But, I wouldn't call it "delicious." Food that needs to be disguised is not worth eating. Someone asked me, "Isn't this the same with all leafy green vegetables?" Yes, I also add other items and dressing to my arugula salad, but the taste of plain arugula doesn't make me cringe.

Kale is the worst nutritional fad since wheat grass. Speaking of grass, I'm sure grass has some valuable nutrients, but human beings don't eat it - because it doesn't taste good. If you do like the taste of kale, clearly you are an animal.


This is ornamental kale, and they plant it in our courtyard at work. Do you know why they plant it there? Because animals won't eat it. Oh, the irony.
Women's Multi-Vitamins have 100% of everything that kale has except Vitamin K and Calcium. So, one multi-vitamin per day, a huge helping of brussel sprouts, and a glass of milk. Sounds much better than eating kale.

I am not obsessive-compulsive enough to try and eat anything on the daily, let alone something as horrendous as kale. Do you see the bunches they sell kale in? They are HUGE. There is so much kale there that you would have to eat it every day! Sources say that kale smells like farts after sitting in the refrigerator for a couple of days. I am banning kale from my refrigerator so my house doesn't smell like farts.

I found a recipe for Crazy Sexy Kale. Kale is not sexy. It makes you poo. Poo is not sexy. Necessary, but not sexy.

That's right, make your kale shake. I will save myself from drinking my food until I'm in a hospital bed and can no longer feed myself. Living off of shakes is no way to live your life. There is too much of a sensation to chewing, biting, and enjoying your food. If you are on some kind of a liquid diet, I feel sorry for you.

I read an article lately where a mom was bragging because her kids ate kale, raw, and without any kind of dressing. Your children are scared of you, and quite possibly hate you. They sneak chicken nuggets at their friend, Billy's, house and don't tell you. I feel bad for them. Billy's mom feels bad for them too and sneaks them a couple of extra nuggets, with ketchup - another vile substance.

I'm not saying you should eat crap. Fruits and veggies are very important, but kale is not a mythical dietary secret we've all been waiting for. Even kale has some nutritional issues. If we really looked at food as fuel, and didn't care about the taste or the social aspects of eating food, then we would all just live off of feeding tubes. That's no way to live.

Remember the movie Soyent Green - Soylent Green is made of people.

Don't eat people because someone tells me to. I don't care how nutritious they are.

I also don't eat kale.

Thank you for listening.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

New Season Resolution: Do things that scare you.

The 2014 Triathlon Season is upon us. This was the year I decided to do more short-course (Sprint and Olympic-distance) events to see if I can be somewhat competitive in my new age group. That's right everyone: I celebrated my age group birthday on January 1st along with 1/5 of all other triathletes. They age you up, so even though I don't turn 35 until August, I am in the 35-39 age group starting now.

While I'm working on short course triathlon, why not sign up for another half Ironman-distance event in May?  Ok, my short-course only year didn't work out exactly as planned, but at least I didn't sign up for Ironman Canada. I considered it for about a week. Maybe 2015?

My year is chalk-full of events that scare me though. Here's the plan with a 1-5 rating of how much they scare the bejeezus out of me.

Kaiser Half Marathon
13.1 mile run, San Francisco, CA - February 2 
Rating: 1
This half marathon does not scare me. It will be fun, and good training.

Solvang Century Ride 
100 mile bike ride, Solvang, CA - March 8 
Rating: 4
Mostly what scares the shit out of me is the ability to train this winter when it's raining and cold. Here is where I get a big boo-hoo from my friends in the Midwest who probably laugh at precipitation and 30 degree temps.

March Triathlon Series Olympic 
.93 mile swim / 24.8 mile bike / 6.2 mile run, Lake Lopez, Arroyo Grande, CA - March 23 
Rating: 2
Sure, I'd like to kick butt at my first Olympic of the year, but my strategy is to get out there, enjoy the day and see what I can do. No pressure racing.

Wildflower Triathlon Long Course
1.2 mile swim / 56 mile bike / 13.1 mile run, Bradley / Lake San Antonio, CA - May 3 
Rating: 4
The Olympic course scared the shit out of me last year, once I realized the choppy waters of Lake San Antonio were not kind and further, my rented wet suit squeezed the crap out of me. I got out of the water feeling totally defeated. It was kind of uphill/downhill after that (pun intended). Not my best race. So why not do the long course to show that course who's boss? *gulp*

Alcatraz Challenge Swim
1.5 mile swim, The Bay, San Francisco, CA - June 29
Rating: 5
My plan between May and the end of June is really focus on swimming. It will take many weekends in the ocean to prepare mentally and physically (mostly mentally). I'm not in this to race, per se, and I don't really care if I'm one of the last people out of the water as long as the safety boat doesn't mind waiting around for me a little longer. If I can jump off of a boat positioned more than a mile off of the shore, and plunge into the San Francisco Bay, and then swim approximately 1.5 miles, then I can pretty much do anything.

Trans Tahoe Relay Swim
Swim relay, Lake Tahoe, NV/CA - July 19
Rating: 1
After two years of doing this event, this should be the best year ever. We have our team, we have our house, we now know what a "low profile Malibu" is. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Donner Lake Olympic Triathlon
.93 mile swim / 24.8 mile bike / 6.2 mile run, Donner Lake, CA - July 27
Rating: 2
This event doesn't scare me, as much as I just want to do well. I should be elevation-ready after a week in Tahoe, and hopefully I'll get a couple of workouts in at altitude while vacationing in Kings Beach. Yes, this is how I spend my vacations now: tapering for triathlons. What about it?

Age Group Olympic Nationals
.93 mile swim / 24.8 mile bike / 6.2 mile run, Milwaukee, WI - August 9
Rating: 4
Please note. I am not going to the Olympics,  nor will I qualify for the Olympics. The "Olympic" Triathlon just means the course is the same distance they do at the Olympics. If some of you thought that I am going to the Olympics - God bless you for thinking I am awesome, but I hate to inform you that is not the case. The reality is, I will work very hard to be in the top of the bottom 25% of finishers in my age group. (Not even overall.) Going to a national competition is scary. Will I be the last one out of the water? Will people laugh at me? I know I should put all of that aside, and just have the best race and be the best I can be. But, it's pretty intimidating to be on the same playing field with people who are really, really good. I will go for the experience, and I will not be the last person out of the water!

Marine Corps Marathon (pending lottery)
26.2 mile run, Washington D.C. - October 26
Rating: 1
I'm not scared to run another marathon. Remember the rating system is for scary, not difficult. Marathons are difficult. But, I've heard this is a great event with all kinds of clean cut men calling you "ma'am" and handing you electrolytes. Sounds like my kind of race!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's . . . Photostock Girl!

I really hate exercise blogs and the photos they use. The people depicted in these photos are not normal people. They are models. If you want to see pictures of real athletes, use Google and look up the top women runners of all time and see what a professional athlete looks like. If you want to see what an amateur athlete looks like, go to a race site and look at some race photos of people who ranked 10th in their age group, or 100th. All of them are athletes. Athletes don't typically have a lack of sweat glands, perfect hair, or for that matter, a smile on their face. No one looks that good when they exercise.

In addition to the people they chose for these photos, these models aren't even outfitted correctly. They wear things you shouldn't wear to lift weights, or worse -

In preparation for the Solvang Century ride in March, I searched the web for a beginners training plan and found this article from Shape Magazine: Ride More than 100 Miles in 8 Weeks. Anyone see a problem with that picture? If you are a true beginner - maybe not. Let me help you. See the bike? It's a mountain bike, or maybe even a hybrid.

For the love of God do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT train for a century ride on a mountain bike or hybrid. YOU WILL DIE. Ok, all extremities aside. A picture is worth a thousand words. And in this case - it was all kinds of wrong.

A mountain bike is made for mountain trails, and a hybrid is made for, well, picking up groceries or going for a ride in the park. Neither are made for a 100 mile road cycling event - they are way too heavy and don't have the proper components. Does a magazine intended to promote women's exercise not know the difference? They should.

My favorite triathlon writer, Susan Lacke, wrote a brilliant article that poked some fun at lame stock photos. After I read it, and posted it for other's amusement, it seems it was taken down. (I wonder if the stock photo site people got upset.) So, you just have to believe me. It was funny.

Because my blog is not as public, or for that matter, not as well written as an article by Susan, I'm going to take a chance and post some photo evidence I've found recently.

Ever since I read Susan's article, one Photostock girl in particular keeps rearing her skinny arms and perfect hair in my face. She is everything America's Next Top Model would want: she looks young, she is a size 2 or smaller, and she is racially ambiguous.

I feel like she is taunting me.
She is in my Facebook feed, not even breaking a sweat. And she brought a friend.

She was on a pamphlet I received in my Chicago Marathon swag bag.

She is being used to promote online training tools. 
Even the Jewish Community Center is using her image to run promotions.

Who is Photostock Girl and where did she come from? I hope she is at least making a profit from all of her posing. I would like to find Photostock Girl and challenge her to a race and see what she's really made of. I would like to see if she looks that good without editing. Maybe she is more than a poser.

Where are you Photostock Girl? I challenge you.