Posts filed under ‘Where Have Your Buns Been?’

Where have your buns been? Multisport World Conference 2012 edition

Active people: Stop being so rigid, loosen up, and enjoy the ride.

That was my takeaway from this year’s MultisportWorld Conference and Expo, held Saturday at Columbia University’s Dodge Fitness Center. (A free fitness conference practically in my backyard? Total score.) Courtney (one of the cool chicks who frequents this blog) and I attended some of the morning seminars, which focused on “Becoming a Happy Triathlete.” After hearing some very inspiring and helpful advice from the presenters, I was pretty damn happy—and the info they shared applies to any active person. What stood out for me:

The inactivity epidemic is far worse than the obesity epidemic. After acknowledging that he was preaching to the choir, Dr. Robert Sallis, former president of the American College of Sports Medicine, started out simple: No matter the population studied, “People who are active and fit live longer, happier, healthier lives,” he said. However, his insistence that being overweight yet fit is better than being at a “healthy” weight but inactive blew my mind a little bit. “Quit using the scale as your barometer for health,” he implored the crowd, suggesting that we use minutes of activity per week instead and shoot for more of those rather than a lower weight. Even a few minutes more of walking each day can make a difference. If you get and stay active, he said, “There’s no reason at 50 you shouldn’t be doing what you were doing when you were 25.”

Triathlon training and racing is a game—it’s okay to have fun with it. Figure out who you are, whether it’s a knee-knocking newbie triathlete or a semi-pro racer, and then have fun with your training and racing. Otherwise, why the heck are you doing any of this in the first place? “If you want to be happy in this sport, your focus should be on the process,” said Dr. Paul Weiss, a sports psychologist and the chief program officer at Asphalt Green in New York City. He added that mini-goals, such as “I’m going to get to that tree… now I’m going to get to the 10-mile mark… etc.” are the best way to keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed at any point in your tri. “If you hit those [mini-goals],” he said, “the race just happens.” Also? It’s okay if you get a little competitive, even if you’re so new that you need a five-minute pep walk just to put on your goggles. The competition is part of the fun. Weiss suggested, “If someone has your age written on their calf, try to catch them.”

Performance starts in your stomach, so eat something. Sports nutritionist and author Nancy Clark—her name may be familiar if you read Runner’s World or SHAPE—made a point that nearly knocked me over with its simplicity: “No weight will ever be good enough to do the enormous job of creating happiness.” BAM. Anyway, I was hooked on Clark’s very straightforward yet incredibly kind way of talking about food and weight and body image. (Disclaimer: I am a girl who has had some bad experiences with nutritionists. More on that at another time.) Who wouldn’t love someone like Clark, who makes fueling yourself sound like such a loving part of training and who reassures you that “On rest days, you won’t get fat or lose fitness?” I later bought her book, Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, at the expo.

If your bike doesn’t fit YOU, nothing else matters. Triathlon coach (and my awesome swim coach, hi Mike!) Mike Galvan made it clear that proper bike fit takes hours, not minutes, and it’s far more involved than tweaking your seat and handlebars. And make sure you go somewhere with a super-attentive staff. “The main thing they should do is listen to you,” he said. Galvan used a real cyclist riding on a trainer to point out the do’s and don’ts of proper form. A big deal: Make sure that your sit bones, not the meaty part of your tush, are on the saddle. Galvan also confessed to keeping six bikes in the one-bedroom apartment he and his wife share. I think that makes the two that Mr. Haul Buns and I stash in our studio seem positively Spartan in comparison.

We're not quite this bad... yet.


March 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm 2 comments

Belle of the ball

I like to think that I have good ideas. It’s just that sometimes, I have them far too late. Like just before our wedding, when I decided that instead of a traditional guest book, I wanted to scan photos and mementos from my 11-year relationship with Mr. Haul Buns, artfully arrange them in a custom photo book, and have it printed in a week’s time. (P.S. — That didn’t happen.) Or when I came up with the plan, a week before the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon, to run the race dressed as Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

Not so hard, you’re probably thinking. After all, it IS October, Halloween is just around the corner, and with the Interwebs these days, getting a costume at any time of the year isn’t that much of a chore. True, but I didn’t want to be any old tale-as-old-as-time-Belle-in-the-yellow-gown. I’ve done Disney races before, and there are always about a million Snow Whites, Tinkerbells, and yellow Belles. I wanted to be different.  I wanted to be Belle as you first see her on screen, skipping around her small, provincial town in a white-and-blue frock.

Go ahead, sing along. You know you want to.

Before I go any further, let’s address a couple of things:

I’m not a huge fan of running in costume, unless I am in Disney World. Then, all bets are off. I’m also not a huge fan of gnawing on giant turkey legs or waiting in line next to a deodorant-challenged South American tour group for 40 minutes to take part in a two-minute recreation of Peter Pan’s flight — unless I’m somewhere with “Magic” and “Kingdom” in its name. Then, I do these things with a zip-a-dee-do-dah in my heart. It should be noted that Mary, a friend who flew in from Arizona to run with me, had zero desire to do wear anything other than what would keep her going until she crossed the finish line. And that’s a totally respectable POV.

When I do run in costume, I don’t want my costume to look like yours. Sorry, but it’s true. That usually means I have to make it from scratch. Which is a problem, because …

I don’t sew, craft, knit, crochet, weave, embroider or hot glue gun. I’ve been working on a cross-stitched advent calendar for my mom for FOUR YEARS. Bottom line: I’m not skilled in the domestic arts. So for my first costume a few years ago — Pocahontas, which I wore in Disney’s inaugural Princess Half Marathon — I manhandled a khaki crewneck tee shirt until it turned into an asymmetrical buckskin tunic and hoped no one noticed the wildly uneven stitching, which looked like it had been done by a palsied crazy person. Still, from a distance, and with the addition of a necklace and a ribbon bicep tattoo attached to my iPod holder, not too bad methinks.

It definitely says "Princess Kimberly" on my bib.

This year, though, I needed true talent on my team: Enter Momma Buns, crafting queen extraordinaire. I sent her this:

And this: (Don’t be alarmed that my model seems to have lost about 15 lbs. between the front and back views. She’s fine.)

Jason Wu, look out.

If this were one of those awesome, crafty blogs that I love to read (Future Girl, CraftyPod—I’m looking at you), I’d have step-by-step photos and easy-to-follow directions for you to make your very own Belle apron. It’s not. I showed up at Momma Buns’ house on Saturday afternoon, and the apron was ready to go. “In the future,” she said in pretty much the same tone she used when I was in sixth grade and forgot about a science project until the night before it was due, forcing me to stay up all night drawing pictures of bird beaks and her to spend the wee hours scanning stacks of library books for the perfect profile view of a scarlet macaw, “a little more notice would be helpful.”

In my opinion, Momma did a pretty rockin’ job. I added a plastic rose and some blue ribbon to tie back my ponytail, and we got this:

With Mary at the start

Be our sweaty, funky guest

Not too bad, right?

As for the race and the rest of the weekend, I think I shall sum it up in photos:

The rental place gave us a minivan. Mary ruled the back seats with an iron fist.

At the expo, Mr. HB and I re-enacted a scene from Fantasia. Yeah, I'm the hippo.

Our bed at the hotel. As Mr. HB put it, "It looks like a City Sports threw up in there."

My legs, hoisted high at the pool during a mid-afternoon sun session, in a vain attempt to make them feel rested for that evening's run. All it got me was weird looks from Mr. HB ...

... who maybe shouldn't have been so quick to judge. (I kid! I kid!)

Post-race, with my biggest fan/personal cheering section/logistics manager, and our pal, Richard, who took this great shot! Now, let's hit Epcot for the after-party!

Changed and chillin' with Dopey and Snow White after the race. In the cosmetics aisle of an Orlando Walgreen's the night before, Mary and I hatched a hee-larious plan to wear ridiculous Nicky Minaj-type fake eyelashes to the party. One of us carried through with this plan. One did not. I'll let you figure out who's who.

October 18, 2011 at 6:41 pm 4 comments

So, that was my Saturday . . .

I accidentally signed up for two fitness events on the same day planned a huge day of fitness fun this past Saturday, starting with New York Road Runners’ Fitness Body, Mind, Spirit Games in Central Park. As Steph and I were walking along Central Park West to the race, a couple in an old-school sedan pulled up alongside us and asked for directions to 67th and Madison. I crouched down next to the car and told them how they were going to cross Central Park at the 72nd Street transverse. They asked if there were any bridges to go under. Only then did I realize what they were towing behind them.

As it turns out, I was giving directions to Harry and Barbara, two members of the Waterloo German Band, who had driven their car and freaking awesome float all the way from Illinois to Manhattan for this year’s German-American Steuben Parade. (Check them out in action; pretty impressive.) Once I routed the couple around the park — and away from any low-hanging overpasses — they thanked me. As then as we were walking away, they honked, beckoned me back, and very sweetly asked me to mail some postcards for them. Why the heck not? They had literally hauled a larger-than-life cuckoo clock replica behind them across six states; it was the least I could do.

Much later in the day, Steph and I were lamenting the fact that we hadn’t taken a picture of the float before the clock rolled away. As we were telling Mr. Haul Buns (or, The Artist Formerly Known as The Fiancé Formerly Known as The Boyfriend—whichever you prefer, because I’m fairly certain he doesn’t prefer either) about our day, I pulled out the postcards to show him and bam! They were Waterloo German Band postcards! Harry and Barbara, you guys rock — mostly because your cards proved to the skeptical Mr. HB that the float actually WAS festooned with a stuffed deer head.

Anyway, after our Good Samaritan stint, Steph and I ran the Fitness 4-miler. The Biggest Loser‘s Bob Harper was there on behalf of Quaker, and TBL‘s season 11 winner Olivia Ward and her sister and teammate, Hannah Curlee, were on hand to cheer for all of the runners. Steph got thisclose to meeting Bob, but his press person scuttled him away from fans just before the start of the race. This photo is all we have to remember our almost-encounter with The Blonde One.

Maybe he ran away from us because I was yelling, "Believe in yourself, trust the process, change forever!"

Happy with our times, and with me gingerly nursing the knee I’d scraped when I took a header getting into the start corral — sigh — Steph and I took the 2 train down to South Street Seaport for Women’s Health magazine’s Are You Game?

This pretty awesome day of (relatively) free group fitness classes and swag giveaways was so much fun. TBL‘s season 11 trainer Cara Castronuova was there to teach a boxing class; during a Q&A, she told us all that women should be able to throw a nice, clean punch. Seems like good advice.

(Photo: Stephanie Pinsdorf)


Though we got shut out of a few classes because we hadn’t reserved spots (a definite must for next year), we took part in two really great sessions: Rock Yoga, a vinyasa class set to songs like Guns N’ Roses’ “Patience” and Aerosmith’s “Dream On” — it shouldn’t have worked, but it totally did — and La Blast, a cardio ballroom class developed by Dancing with the Stars’ pro Louis Van Amstel. Amstel was even there to teach the class; from the moment he told us to shake our boobs and think with our pelvic regions, I knew I’d have a pretty great time. Afterward, Steph and I weren’t about to let this blonde, male reality TV personality get away without taking a photo with us.

Harper, this coulda been you.

September 19, 2011 at 9:46 pm Leave a comment


I was in Vermont this weekend for the wedding of my amazing sister-in-law, Gabby, and her awesome dude, Doug. Though the wreckage from Hurricane Irene threatened to interfere with their big day, everything turned out great.

The happy couple!

I had planned at least two runs while I was there, but with all of the pre-event activities, I only managed to get in a very short outing on the morning of the wedding. Lucky for me, Vermont is so damn hilly that even a short run made me feel like a big effort. (Or maybe it was the beer I had the night before. You be the judge.)

And now, my run in photos.

Some of the beautiful nature right outside the B&B where I stayed. Because I noticed it as I was running downhill, it seemed especially pretty.

Another view on my way downhill. Right about this point, I realized that I'd have to climb back up all the terrain I'd just coasted down. FML.

On the way back up, which — as you may have guessed —took a bit longer than the way down. Don't think about it... think about something peaceful and serene...

Ah. Wildflowers.

Still there. Aw, crap.

Made it back!

Post-run self-portrait fail, crazy eyes and all. But hey, I'm done!

September 6, 2011 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment

Do Or Not Do: This Is My Tri!

Barefoot and dripping, I peeled off my swim cap and speedwalked to the transition site where Bertha awaited. “Have some water! Wash the Hudson out of your mouth!” volunteers cheerfully shouted, handing my fellow racers and I cups as we made our way to our bikes. I was smiling, laughing, giddy for no other reason than the fact that I hadn’t drowned in the river.

And despite the fact that I was jogging in a bathing suit.

I dried off as best as I could and donned my running shorts and tank top. It felt so weird to have my clammy suit stuck to my skin underneath everything, and I gave myself a few liberal swipes of Body Glide in an effort to avoid chafing and blisters. It should be noted that triathletes generally try to get in and out of the transition area as quickly as possible; good transition times can make up for slowness during the legs of the race. But I just really didn’t care. I wasn’t drinking mimosas and lounging around, but I also wasn’t freaking out when I temporarily couldn’t find one of my socks (like a woman was in the next row over).

So many bikes!

So many bikes!

That's my girl (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

That's my girl, Bertha Blue. (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

Helmet on, I walked Bertha out onto the course and hopped aboard. In the next two hours, I had one of the most fun bike rides of my life. I charged up a hill and sped out onto the 79th Street entrance to the West Side Highway. With the Hudson on my left, I pedaled north on a road normally reserved only for cars. (The city had shut it down just for us.) The uphills weren’t horrible, and the downhills were heaven. I felt like I was flying, going faster than I’d ever gone before with no turns or traffic to slow me down. People passed me, I passed people. Just like the swim, it didn’t matter. My only concern was not beating up my legs too much; I still had a 10K to run when the biking was done. I breezed through the tolls at the Henry Hudson Bridge — no EZ-Pass required — and continued north to the Moshulu Parkway exit, the turnaround point.

I saw people of all body types on bikes of all price points just doing their thing. I tried to keep my shoulders loose and made a mental note, as I stood up and stretched during a flat section of the course, that next time I’d wear shorts with a chamois in them. When I spotted race photographers out along the road, I sucked in my gut and grinned.

And then it was over. We turned again and re-entered the transition area, where I traded my helmet for a cap and basted myself with sunblock before bidding Bertha adieu. I started the run with legs that felt so heavy and feet that felt like they were barely moving. I followed all the other participants onto 72nd Street, also closed to traffic just for us. And when I crossed Broadway, The Boyfriend was right where he’d promised he’d be.

Meeting my man at the corner of Broadway and 72nd Street (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

At the corner of Broadway and 72nd Street (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

It was humid and sticky. It was still early. He’d been up as long as I had, and he’d been waiting in his spot for a while because we had no idea how to gauge my time. His face was so happy, so proud, so genuinely excited for me as he snapped photos of my approach.

I love this man.

I stopped to kiss him, and he did what he always does in this situation: He asked how I was feeling and then told me not to waste time with course-side PDAs. So I was off again, doing a slow lope into Central Park. The course snaked north through the park’s hilliest section, and I told myself that it was just a little more than six miles, a distance I’d run many times before. So I focused on picking up one foot and putting the other down. I thanked as many volunteers as I could at the water stations. And I laughed out loud when a random woman on the sidelines, after seeing that I happened to be running among a pack of men, sang out, “You just stay strong, sister!”

The beautiful thing about a 10K is that just when you want it to be done, it is. And when I crossed the finish line, I felt like I did at the end of my first marathon. I can’t believe I did this. It’s impossible that I did this.

Dazed but happy at the finish (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

Dazed but happy at the finish (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

And then, the best prize, better even than the subway token medal placed around my neck as The Boyfriend hugged my sweaty, sandy, salty self tight: I totally did this. I am a triathlete.


Little did I know, half of the Hudson's mud was still in my bathing suit... (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

Oh, and lest I forget…

This is where my buns have been! (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

This is where my buns have been! (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

August 14, 2009 at 7:11 pm 3 comments

Wherever Your Buns May Lead You

I know, I haven’t updated Haul Buns much lately. Work and life intervene, my little haulers. But I’m back with an exciting new prospect for you to keep in mind as the summer travel season begins: Where Have Your Buns Been?

Here’s the deal. You Haul Buns readers are a hip, happening crew. You do cool things and go cool places. So why not show your HB pride while you’re at it? From now on, when you’re traveling or out running a race or taking part in a charity walk or something equally active and healthy lifestyle-ish, have someone snap a photo of you pointing to your… assets. Just like this (from my jaunt to Philadelphia for this year’s soaking wet Broad Street Run):

Where Have My Buns Been? Philadelphia! (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

Where Have My Buns Been? Philadelphia! (Photo credit: The Boyfriend)

That’s right. Pose proudly (and if you’re near some famous landmark, try to get it in the shot) by pointing to your buns. Then send the photos to haulbuns AT and I’ll post them on the site! Even better, anyone who sends in a photo gets some special Haul Buns flair!

Jersey Shore? The Caribbean? Your mom’s backyard? Take those photos and send them in. We’re not picky, and we definitely want to know WHERE HAVE YOUR BUNS BEEN???

May 18, 2009 at 1:51 am 2 comments

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