Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Goals Revisited

What a year!  I am getting lots of praise from those around me and it feels great.  As one of my best friend's mom said the other day "Look who came to visit!  Half a Melissa!" haha!

One gesture I'm sticking to comes from a sermon last Sunday where the pastor was talking about relationships and said something to the effect of "Praise people for how far they have come, don't berate them on how far they have to go".  

Definitely lost a chin or two in 2013!

1. Lose as much or more weight as I lost in 2012 (34lbs)

I only had 3 pounds to lose with a month to go, but I know that is not going to happen.  I'm 100% fine with it...more on that later!

2.  Swim twice a week, at least one morning a week.
Ha!  Once in the morning!  I'm pretty sure I became even less of a morning person in 2013!  But generally I swam once a week, twice if I was lucky.

3.  Strength train once the Y thins out (after new year's resolution-ers don't come as often)
I was dragging my feet big time on this!  I started strength training in late November, but I have a good routine now!

4.  Strength train at home in the meantime (as much as one can with light weights)
This probably happened once!

5.  Do a race longer than a 5K.
 I jumped from a 5K straight into a half marathon this year!

6.  Swim in an open water race.
Yes!  In place of a triathlon.  Recap here.

7.  Run a race/just plain run downtown
I walked a 5K downtown for a work related event.   It was so uneventful that I didn't blog about it, but I'm counting it because I got to enjoy the downtown area!

8.  Get a bike

9.  Ride said bike

10.  Ride bike w/o fear of falling off/losing control  
It was longer than I expected, if we're being honest!

11.  Do a triathlon, even if it is just by myself at the Y.
I completed an indoor tri in late January/early February, then went on to do several more this summer!  Recaps:  Indoor tri.  First Triathlon.  Second Triathlon.  Third Triathlon. 

12.  Try some new, more hardcore workouts
Still trying to get into different workouts, but spinning was a big one...running on the treadmill (I had a treadmill fear), BRICK workouts for sure!   Let's see what I can get to in 2014! 

 Pay off credit cardsYes!  Paid both of them off by May.

Get student loans under XX,XXXSure did.  But I’m slowly realizing how long it is going to take to pay these off, I will up the ante in 2014!

Accumulate X,XXX in savings. – I only accumulated about half of what I wanted to, but it might be enough to pay off another debt or go towards a new car in the future.

Only eating out once a week unless special occassion or asked by friendFirst half of the year – this was great.  Second half, not so much.  

All money from church job goes toward debt – Except for a month or two, this one was right on.

No buying things on whims/bc they are on sale.  – Surprised myself and did pretty well on this.

Only buy if you really need them Hehe…easier said than done!

All  purchases from CVS stay below $10 unless they are a needI sorta stopped couponing at CVS, so this is not really all that applicable.

Keeping avg groc budget to $50I started shopping at Aldi, so this has been no problem!

Keep doing things like working out/going on walks/run outdoors. (Things that make me happy)
Yes and no.  What makes me happy in terms of exercise is continually changing.  I just have to keep doing what I love!

Do something special every week that makes me happy (take time to watch a sunset, volunteer, get my nails done, read a book, etc)  - Not every week, but yes I did take more time for me (instead of mind numbingly reading through my FB news feed!)

Find a church to go to, go regularly and get involved.
I’m going to the church I have previously worked at and starting to get involved – yay!

Have quiet time w/the Lord. –
I am very proud of this accomplishment.  Right now its only like 5-10 minutes a day. But I am getting there!

Count your blessings.
– Not enough!

Don't be so introverted, keep in contact with family/friends.
– The more you do it, the easier it is.  This past month or two has been a lot better on this.

Make new friends by trying new activities. –
Yes!  Through my tri group and my small group at church I have been meeting people.  Go introverted me

Back to goal #1 all the way up there.  Even though it took me from early July to late November to lose 10 pounds, I am definitely okay with that!  As I've said many times before on this blog, my focus is the to be healthy and increase my fitness level.  In that span of early July to late November, I completed 3 triathlons, a 3K open water swim, a 20 mile bike ride, 39 mile bike ride, and a half marathon.  What a kickass year!  Last year at this time I would have NEVER thought I would complete all of those things, let alone in a span of a few months.  

So, thank you, 2013.  You showed me what strength and determination really are and that even if you are the slowest one in your training group, you are still swimming laps, riding circles, and running marathons around the people who are sitting on the couch.  2014 - let's do this! 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Holiday Food Temptation Fails & Successes

I meant to post this the week before Christmas...whoops!!!
Last week was AWFUL food-wise.  For starters, I fell head first into a tub of $15 cookie dough that I had no business ordering in the first place (from a co-worker’s daughter’s school fundraiser).  Then there were holiday treats all over the place at work, not to mention two work holiday celebrations last week.  One was lunch at a pub.  I, like a dummy, ordered fish and chips.  The second I ate whatever was there.  Nibble, nibble, nibble.  And last week, I felt so run down too.  I got 8 hours of sleep a night, but felt exhausted everyday.  Melissa…could it be the crap you are putting into your body?!?  Duhhhhhhh!
This week had to change things!  I vowed not to eat any sweet treats or other nonsense set out at work.  How my office is set up, the majority of the treats set out for anyone is next to my cubicle.  When we got the deliveries of popcorn, chocolate covered pretzels, candies, chocolates, and nuts, I became a thief.  And I don’t even care!  If I am the one that has to sit with all of that in my line of (peripheral) vision, then I should be the sole heir to the entire (5oz) fortune of pistachios.  When no one was around, I snuck them over to my desk and popped them in my drawer!  This proved to be a wise decision.

My boss had gone to a cookie swap party and came in with this giant monstrosity.

I got a whiff of the deliciousness every time someone put the lid back on.  :/
Then on Tuesday, my coworker made cookies before work that morning and they were still warm.  This is the lady that believes in extra butter and sugar in nearly everything and her cookies are the size of your hand.  Still, I resisted.
On Wednesday, a coworker’s mother has been in town for the holidays and decided to bake.  There were 4 giant trays filled with at least 6 different things.  It legit smelled like a bakery in here.   
I have stayed away from all of it and feel pretty good about that.  No new stuff has arrived (yet) for today.  Tomorrow we are having a holiday brunch, of which, I hope to be smart about.  I will not get xyz just because my friend made it (and I know I don’t really like it!).  I will sit down and enjoy my food rather than shoveling it in! 
The comments have been rather funny.  I hear some people say “oh, I’ll just eat whatever I want and worry about it after the first of the year”.  I feel sad for those people.  The co-worker who made the cookies said “I don’t trust anyone who loses weight during the holidays!”  Her food is the most delicious I have ever had (because of the extra butter and sugar that often finds its way into her food), so if I were eating her cooking, I would probably say the same thing too.  

Other things have made me more hopeful.  Some people just walk by and get a “look” before leaving and going back to their healthy food at their desk.  And more come by, check out what food there is, and say “It looks good, but not that good”.  We have a “maintain, don’t gain” program run through our HR dept which is a really good thing and is keeping a good amount of people accountable.  There is no prize, just accountability to yourself and others.   I kind of like that.  Weeds out the people who really care from the riff raff.  Anyone knows I do anything for the possibility of a prize.  Guess I’m the riff raff!
(PS I won a week’s worth of meals from Diet to Go from Double Chin Diary’s blog.  Holla!)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Thanksgiving NSV

Yes, I should have posted this sooner, but that is okay!  I really needed to get that last blog post done because my tri team consultant had been pressuring me to write it.  Well, I did and posted it on my tri team's fb page and no one said shit! haha at least with a blog I'm doing this for myself and not for other people, but anyway...

Thanksgiving was both good and bad.  Good food, not too much though.  Bad (aka really delicious) desserts were left, but for the good, I got some other people to take some home.  Good was getting up at 5:25am to go to hot yoga, then putting in 2 - 22 min sessions on the bike trainer in the evening.  Bad was getting $100 stolen from me by my brother in law's brother.  Asshat.

But the best?  The day after Thanksgiving!  I got on the scale to see:


Yay for 215

Why yes, that is the weight I have on my driver's license!  That number has been a lie for soooo very long!  I was giddy, and still am, to be honest!  Hoping to lie about my weight by being under 215 soon!  Reminds me of this post from September of last year.  I wonder what my face would look like in another license pic now! 

Another   NSV happened when I was home last weekend for my friend's wedding.  I thought, I might have my silver heels in my little sister's closet still, so I was head first in this closet full of crap and found the coat I bought my freshman year of college.  It is a very nice pea coat and I felt like I paid a million dollars for it (it was $100).  It is an 18/20 (I went into college as size 16 - ha!gained that freshman 15 pretty fast!).  I pulled it out and tried it on.  It fits perfectly!  Near my senior year, I always used to wear a hoodie with it because it would no longer button, far from it in fact.  I tossed it on TeenSwimSis's bed thinking maybe she would wear it, but when I came back a day later, she had tossed it on the floor.  I had really been wanting a new winter coat, but couldn't stomach the cost, so I was glad to have found this one.  It really is a lot warmer than my other coats/jackets.  Hooray for fitting into it again 10 years later

Wedding hair and makeup

Rehearsal dinner hair and makeup - and weird smile! :)

I'm so excited it is December!  I'm looking forward to spending time with family and friends and being choosey about what sweets I eat!  I have already been looking at 2014 races.  I would like to do more open water swims, a couple sprint tris, and I'm hoping to make my first Olympic triathlon a reality!  I want to do some around my area, but maybe travel for a couple too.  Definitely ones around my hometown, even though I HATE the idea of racing in front of people I know, I would love to race with some of my family members in that area.  But what is up next?  Getting my USAT (triathlon) membership!  Woah, when I set goals at the beginning of last year, I NEVER thought I would do more than one triathlon, let alone get a USAT membership!

How have you surprised yourself?   Oh, I forgot to mention, I CAN do a half plow now!  That pose haunted me in yoga last year!

Anything exciting on the horizon?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Full Moon 5K

My running small group from church did a 5K together!  I usually just do a 5K by myself or with one other person.  But it was so much fun knowing many people!  My far off goal was to run the 5K without stopping.  I haven't been running that much (once, twice a week at the most!), so I didn't see that happening.  Again, I would have liked to run 2 miles w/o stopping, but i didn't really see that happening either.  Basic plan = run at least the first mile and walk as little as possible.

This was an afternoon race in a scenic park area.  The park is named after a picturesque pedestrian bridge.  The race officials had us walk across the bridge where we would be starting and coming back across to the actual course.  The timing mat was about 20 yards from the finish line, so we would run over the bridge then cross the timing mat.  Being the genius and serious athlete that I am, I decided not to start running until I crossed the timing mat.  Why waste the energy?

The bridge and the finish...majority of the run was to the left...timing mat just out of sight!

We stood around for a minute and the signature of this race company - a cannon blast, signaled the start and startled a majority of the runners as they did not mention it and it was not within our line of sight.  I did start jogging a bit before the timing mat, but only due to peer pressure from people behind me/fear of getting trampled!  I started my watch as I crossed the timing mat.  The route was an out and back on a paved path winding next to the river.  I was trying to stay toward the right in case others needed to pass me.  Before we were even a quarter mile in, a woman came up with a gigantic double stroller on my left.  I made plenty of space between us...I think runners with animals or strollers are annoying in races if you don't have the right tact/handling skills. 

The path was winding and some runners trying to pass walkers were 3 or 4 across, taking up the whole path.  As the stroller lady didn't announce her presence or intent and could not easily go around the pack, she simply said loudly "Excuse me!" to which the woman running in front of her slowed almost to a stop and turned around, causing stroller lady to run the front tire of the stroller up this poor woman's calf.  It was weird and embarrassing to watch.  The almost road kill woman looked shocked and just nodded at the apology stroller lady tossed her way.  From that point on, stroller woman could be heard from a distance yelling "STROLLER ON YOUR LEFT!!!!!".  I'm pretty sure my jaw was hanging open for a minute after that!  It definitely reminded me of the time I stepped on the world's cutest puppy while on a run.  A "did that really happen?" moment!

Stroller woman in the second half of the race, for the visual you need for that story!

I was enjoying the course, but running felt hard, as it often does for me.  The course had some curves and dips that would pop right back up that kept it interesting, but trees are trees and I wanted to walk...I knew I wasn't running the whole way or even to mile 2.  C'mon mile 1!  I was thinking "um, I think I've been running for like 20 minutes, maybe I missed the mile marker".  Cue 1/2 mile marker.  Seriously???  Running is the worst!  Ah, well, just remember that the first mile is always the hardest in a 5k.  (Those are my running mantras! haha.  I routinely think/say "Uuuuuugh!  Running is the worst!" But then it gets better.  Especially in triathlons when the "Brick" feeling wears off")

My watch ($5 sports watch from CVS! but I have ordered a Bia watch for all my training/racing needs) said 11:38 at the mile marker.  Ummm....wasn't that my time at one of the mile races this summer?  Felt like I took it out too  fast!  So I walked for a minute and arrived at the water station where I noticed my shoe was untied, so I drank my water and stopped for that. Around this time, the photographer caught a rather unfortunate shot of me! See below!  I started to see my speedy friends coming back on the course, which had opened up so I could see the turn around in the distance.  I started running again and kept an eye out for anyone I knew for high fives.  And of course high fives for any race volunteers.


After the turn around, my mouth started getting filmy and I felt the need to spit.  I did the best I could to get ready hock it to the side, but the wind was against me and I am very ungraceful, so it ended up in a dribble down my shirt.  Put that on my list of things to practice for my next 5k!  Luckily, I had just passed a group of people and the there didn't appear to be anyone around me.  I was back at the water stop soon and walked while I had my water and thought of my strategy into the finish.  I would only let myself walk once, so I had to make it count!  My legs were burning and those small dips seemed a little bit bigger!  I focused on catching up to the person in front of me and then to the next person, if possible.

I walked for a minute with half a mile left and I was alongside a woman who was running her first 5k after knee surgery!  She said she wasn't fast, but she was getting it done - damn right you are getting it done!  That was impressive.  I could hear the finish and I kicked it in, and smiled a huge Cheshire cat grin while I passed my friends cheering for me.  I crossed the finish line and hit my watch as it said 39:31.  I tried walking immediately off the path to get out of the way and was pulled back to receive a medal and have my timing chip taken off.  Ha, sometimes I miss the obvious.  I grabbed some water, a cookie, and a banana and went to find my friends.  With the small amount of class I possess, I announced to my group a Goonies-esque "HEY YOU GUYS!!!  I THINK I JUST DID MY FIRST 5K UNDER 40 MINUTES".  Which was met with much congratulations.

I didn't have long to hang out as #1 it was freezing and #2 I had to get cleaned up for a dinner downtown that involved me and $56 steak and I wasn't the one paying.  Definite priority:  food.

I checked the website for my official time that night, the next day, that night, etc.  A couple of days later I thought to look and was scrolling down the 30s.  37....38...ooh...39...where is my name....oh...almost....there......why am I at 40....wait, what?  40:28 as my official time.!

When my small group convened the next week, others agreed that their times were slower than their watches had captured.  The consensus was that it was a gun start and a chip finish.  Which is the biggest load of crap in my book!  Sooo....that means if I didn't walk at the start of the race I may have really, officially finished under 40 minutes?  Ah, live and learn, Melissa! It was PR anyway!

Alright sub-40 - I'm coming for you next time!!!  Oh, and the stroller lady?  Just 1 spot ahead of me.  Figures!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Has It Really Been That Long?

Yesterday, TeenSwimSis had her first high school swim meet! 

Geeez, has it really been 14 years since I was a freshman in high school?

Ah, but so, so, so fun to be a part of the swim team.

That year was the hardest we worked during my 4 years of high school swimming.  2 a day practices, "dry land" training in the morning and swimming in the afternoon.  Unless it was a Saturday or the odd practice out, in which we would do dryland followed by a swim.  Running, weights, taebo, aerobics...we sweated it out to all of that!  And it showed...the one and only year we won our sectional!  It makes me tired just thinking about it!  Swimming is a winter sport (LOL!), so we would NEVER see the sunshine during the week.  Go to practice when it was dark, go to school, go to practice and then it would be dark again! 

2002!  I am on the left in the back row.  SwimSis is in the front row w/the dark hair.  Stylin'!

TeenSwimSis was under a year old when I was a freshman in high school.  Don't forget, there is also SwimSis, who is 2 years younger than I am, and my brother is 3.5 years younger.  So when I would get home from high school practice, my parents (swim club president and secretary, respectively) would take the middle two to the pool for their practice and I would be left to take care of TeenSwimSis.

Thinking back on that makes me laugh.  I would feed her her baby food as fast as I could and eat my dinner so I could get on the Web tv (internet on your TV) and look up NSYNC websites.  I spent SO much time with that chick!  Same goes for the weekends.  If I didn't have a meet and they did, they would go to the swim meet and I would stay home with the baby.  It created a wonderful bond between the two of us and I only get crap every so often about putting her on the couch and she subsequently rolled right off (so swears my brother).  :)

Me and TeenSwimSis back in '98 (my 8th grade year!)

It also makes me sad.  When I was in high school, we had a wonderful pool.  6 lanes plus a deep end.  Perfect for the size of team we had!  The pool had a lot of problems, though.  For starters, it was on the second floor of the school!  It was over the auto shop/classroom.  It leaked - a lot!  A few years ago, they decided to fill in the pool and make that area a giant classroom with no plans to build a new pool.  And the team has really suffered. 

They have to travel to pools at other schools that are 15-20 minutes away to practice.  The quantity as well as quality of swimmers has suffered.  Last night at the first meet of the season, They lost to a team that we beat soundly every year.  They did not have enough swimmers to fill out all of their events/relays.  It makes me really sad that the program is not as strong as it once was.  Not that winning is everything, but when the outlook is losing everytime - I think it is just hard for morale. 

Let it be known - if I ever win the lottery (well, I would have to play first!) I will build a new pool in that town!  Don't worry, I have dad is on the zoning board! ha!

Also, I got a bike trainer and was sooo excited to set it up.  Apparently I'm not as handy, resourceful, or independent because I have tried at least 4 times (working on different problems each time) to set it up.  I have also conferred with youtube and a couple of different websites and the verdict is the same - I need a man to do this for me.  You know I'm desperate when I want to cry and drink over a stupid bike trainer!  Hopefully I can make it to our bike trainer group practice with my tri group on Sunday so that Tri Coach Jeff can help me out.  I just have to make it there in time! 

I started the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge again.  It was so wonderful to drop 8 pounds over the holidays last year!  My mini goal for this week is not to have brownie in a mug all week.  What a weakness! 

Random:  Just b/c I think its hilarious - my fb profile pic!  More forgiving that IRL!

This week's schedule has been a little jacked up, but that is okay.  Monday I found out yoga on Tuesday was cancelled, so I went to hot yoga with SwimSis.  I felt so strong, especially seeing other people struggle with a few things I was decent at (but there's not comparison in yoga, blah, blah, blah well it made me feel good!).  Tuesday, instead of yoga I went to YMCA D right by my work (opened in August!) where I did a 1 mile run and then lifted for about a 1/2 hour (most machines, a little resistance band work).  Then swimming was at its normal time (7).  I got there a little late, but Coach Ellen worked me!  I had one 50 left of my cooldown when i was doing backstroke and saw a kickboard fly my way!  Coach Ellen asked if I wanted to stay and swim with her.  Do I want more oxygen?  More Jesus?  The answer is YES!  :)  I did about 2000 yds with the tri group and 1600 with Coach Ellen.  I got out of the pool at 9:10!  Yikes!   A little over 2 hours in the pool, plus a short run, plus lifting - I felt AWESOME and invincible. 

Then today came.  I decided if I got my bike trainer working,  I would ride it, but if not, no big deal because my body is still tired from yesterday!  My shoulders and back are sore, my  legs a little bit so, and the arches of my feet too!  3600 is quite a few flip turns.  Flip turns are a little like horizontal jumping w/o shoes so my arches take the brunt of the pain sometimes.

What moments of nostalgia have you had lately?  Did you wish things were the same or different?

Monday, November 11, 2013

I Quit Pilates

Oh em gee, has it really been that long since I have blogged?  Well, the first week I didn't blog, we didn't have internet at the house and when I try to blog at work, blogger only lets me use html which is only one notch above nails on a chalk board on the annoyance scale.  Last week I was lazy took some personal time.  It was great to do things like finish a book that I started in 2011 (really!), start a candy crush addiction, and wonder where the I put all my winter clothes.

Every since my half marathon, a month ago, I haven't been working out like I was the 6 months beforehand.  I have been working out probably 3 days a week, 4 if I'm, lucky.  Which is fine, but when you let yourself eat halloween candy and have large portions, it's not so good!

Part of my workout rut is that my YMCA hired a consultant and she suggested we offer more things/shift practices around.  Before, my schedule looked like this:

Monday: Swim w/Tri Group
Tuesday:  Yoga at Work
Wednesday:  Bike w/Tri Group
Thursday: Misc or Run for God
Friday:  Rest
Saturday: Pilates + misc exercise OR Race
Sunday:  Work at the church/Rest

Look at that!  So nice and neat.  One thing a day except on the weekends when I choose to do more.  Well, here lately they've added more running.

Monday:  Running at the local track
Tuesday:  Swim
Wednesday:  Bike
Thursday: Group Run
Friday: Nothing
Saturday: Misc
Sunday: Bike/Misc

So, a lot of those are outside.  And this is the midwest so it's pretty cold!  The last time I biked was definitely a month ago!  I wore a long sleeve shirt and bike shorts and by the end of the night, I had to leave early because I was nearly frozen!  I don't have cold weather gear, and let's be honest, I only have enough $ for either a bike trainer or cold weather clothes.  Having lost 70 pounds, I can definitely say that I have less insulation and am cold a lot more.  I also wanted to start adding some strength training back into my life.  Oh, and Pilates - I hadn't gone in at least 8 weeks. I was either out of town/had races, etc.  I did not like that i was paying and not able to go, so I am quitting for the foreseeable future because I will be out of town for holidays/weddings, etc.  I definitely need to keep doing a lot of the exercises though...I was soooo sore after side planks in yoga the other week!   Here is what I want my schedule to look like, although it is still in a state of limbo:

Monday:  1/2 hr run, lifting @ YMCA
Tuesday:  Yoga at work/Swim w/Tri Group
Wednesday:  Bike - trainer OR Lifting
Thursday:  Run for God small group
Friday:  Rest
Saturday: Hot yoga/trail run/other adventure
Sunday: Bike on trainer w/Tri Group

Ugh, I need another rest day in there! 

Something that has not been fun is gaining about 2-3 pounds!  I was at 218 for a week or two, but I've been at 220-221 for about 2 weeks. I'm cool w/maintaining, but gaining = yuck!

I do have to say, I have been eating out more and when I "cook" it is always large portions
Peas, asparagus, red onion, white onions, mushrooms and scallops over cheese grits + bacon (cuz duhhhh bacon is delish!)  Definitely a new favorite comfort food!
Yogurt + banana + walnuts = dreamy breakfast
One of my staples - hummus, chicken, and cucumbers. 

I was supposed to work out at the ymca today, but I had a tour of the new hospital in town tonight, so I was all "nah, i'll exercise later".  Wow, didn't know I was such an excuse maker but apparently I am. 

This week I'm also trying to work on getting enough sleep + being more productive at work.  Oh, and needing less caffeine!  That being said...ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

First Half Marathon!

Whew, I'm going to write this now...if I wait for a free night, I might be waiting a couple of weeks!

To address a few questions about my half marathon, here are a few facts 1. No, it was not a last minute decision. 2.  No, I did not train for it.

You're probably thinking "Well, that's a dumb move" and you'd be mostly right! :)  This was a race that was only happening once.  It took place on a highway that has been built, but not opened yet.  Only one chance at something?!?  I had to do it!  The race options were a 5K or a half marathon.  And the drive is over an hour - I'm not driving all that way for a 5K!  So a half marathon it was!  I knew I had a busy couple of months before hand.  With 3 tris, 2 long bike rides and a 3K open water swim, there wasn't really time (nor interest!!!) to train.  I had one Saturday open for a "long run" and did my run/walk for 6.8 miles before I went home and got ready for an afternoon of heavy drinking (aka bourbon bar crawl...the most delicious recovery!).  The half marathon was one week after my Wet & Wild Triathlon, so I didn't really have time to over analyze it either!

For the race day, I decided to wear this jersey I got on clearance from the bike shop I go to, mesh bike shorts with adidas short over.  I went with the biking jersey because it had built in pockets in the back, which proved to be invaluable.  I wore a hat I got at one of my tris and my race belt as well.  It was my first time wearing that jersey, so I didn't want it to put holes in it w/safety pins.  I used tri slide all around my sports bra and arm holes of the jersey.  I used my hoo ha ride glide down below.  The one thing I forgot was sunscreen! 

They had sent emails that week to get there early because parking was limited.  It was a 9am start and I arrived around 7:15am.  I got my packet (which contained my timing chip, tshirt, and visitors information for the city it was in - lol!) and went to the restroom, where there was no waiting!  I went back out to my car, rearranged some stuff, and decided to hit up the bathroom again a little while later.  The day before, I had a pork chop and salad all ready to go for my lunch, then i dropped it on the break room floor. :/  so then I went to Taco Bell.  Yes, taco bell the day before my half marathon.  Another bad decision!  luckily, I was able to remedy the situation during that trip to the bathroom and was fine the entire race.  Pretty soon, it was time to go to the starting line!

The race course was shaped like a t with only one arm.  We started on a side street and ran up the ramp to the highway.  At this point, the 5Kers went north and the halfers went south.  The halfers went south to mile 5.5, turned around and went north past the ramp to the highway and up to the 5K turnaround, then the halfers turned south, again, to the exit ramp and back down that side street to the finish line.

I started in the back of the pack and was dodging a lot of people on the side street and the ramp to the highway.  Once the 5K split from the half, there was a lot more room!  I ran my first mile in 13:39.  I was worried about the 4 hour time limit, so I ran for the first 20 minutes before starting my run 4 mins, walk 1 min routine.  The lead runners came back our way when I was at the 3 mile mark!  So speedy! This part before the first turn around was so, so good.  I felt great!  My 5K time was in a good range and at the hour mark, I was at mile 4.5, which was great for me!  The scenery, albeit a bit boring, was very pretty with the sun coming up and a little fog over the many, many corn/soy bean fields.  I took a hammer apple cinnamon gel, which was delicious, at the 45 minute mark.  I was sipping camelbak elixir in lemon lime from my full size water bottle too.  During this time, I had written the names of people or things on my arm that I wanted to pray for.  I dedicated each mile to someone different, so that helped pass the time and made me feel like I was helping out my family/friends. 

I made it to the 5.5 mile turnaround in 1:16 (the winner of the half finished in 1:15!).  There was a timing mat there plus some music, which was a nice break.  I took a margarita shot block at this time, and could barely wait for the next mile to get to the water station.  Too much lime flavor going on in my mouth!  After that, I had water the rest of the time because I was SO over the lemon lime flavors :)  I looked over because i heard someone run up behind me, and wouldn't you know it.  The longest mullet I have EVER seen!  Oh man, that made my day.  The kid was about 12 and he was struggling, but still going faster than me.  I told him he was doing a great job and he quickly high tailed it out of there.

I was feeling alright, but needed to eat some more so I had 3/4 of a honey stinger waffle around mile 6.5 and drank the rest of my camelbak elixir.  I told myself to keep up the 4 min run, 1 min walk ratio at least till mile 7 because that had been my farthest run thus far, so I knew it was possible.  When mile 7 came up, I switched to run 3 walk 1.  Between mile 7 and mile 9, things really went downhill fast...and unfortunately, not literally downhill.  I downgraded to run 2 walk 1 and by mile 9.5, I just couldn't run anymore.  I took a couple more shot blocks and had them refill my water bottle at every water stop.  At one point, I touched my face and it felt like sandpaper with all the salt on it - not sure that was supposed to happen, but I didn't like it!  I had popped in my ipod - borrowed from my brother in law, Coach, around mile 8.  It was a needed distraction.  I didn't care what was on the ipod!  It ended up being rap and hip hop. Then, just before mile 11, I had been running a downhill where my toes in my right foot had been cramping up and trying to curl with every step, such a weird sensation!  I was tired and just wanted to be done, when a song came on.  Not any song, but a really moving song from my mom's funeral 3 years ago.  I had forgotten this song even existed, but it is a really beautiful song and I like it, so I kept it on.  And then the tear started!  I put my head down through a water stop as I was just sobbing and walking.  Love and miss that woman SO much!!!  The song was over and a hip hop song started in with the swearing and sexual references again, but I was still crying :/  

At the next turn around, there was 1.5 miles left and I wish I could have run more, but it was not in the cards for my ill prepared legs!  I probably ran 2 times for 3-4 minutes each in the last 5k, plus the last 200 yards of the race.  I made it to the finish line with my finishing pose ready to go, but there was no camera :/  My time ended up being 3:22.  There was also no medals because they ran out (we knew this beforehand), but they said they would mail us our medals.  I hopped right over to the refreshments line and grabbed a granola bar, pretzels, a water, and four apples (they were in bags from the orchard - they looked and are delicious!).  I skipped the chocolate chip cookies because they looked super oily and the paper they were on had grease stains.  Must have been bad because I don't turn down cookies!

I found a patch of grass and stretched, drank my water, and sent some texts alerting family and friends that I was done.  I had asked (begged a few) that no one come watch me because spectating was limited to overpasses.  I had not planned on taking my phone because 1. I didn't want to carry it and 2. I knew my family would be calling me asking me where i was, how to get to the overpass, etc I didn't need that!  Really I would have liked someone to drive me home!  I got in my car and headed straight to an amazingly delicious mexican restaurant.  Their taco salad is my favorite, so I headed to the bar and chowed down.  That may have been the best salad of my life! There was a place across the street that touted an indoor swimming pool with a swim up bar.  I was intrigued, but I also think that is superbly creepy!!!

I am very happy I finished and am proud of myself for doing a half marathon.  It is a long distance that not a ton of people can say they completed.  However, I didn't/don't think it is that big of deal.  My first tri was so special because I had been training for it for many months.  All that time and effort had an amazing result!  Tri Coach Jeff said that he was impressed that I did it because I hadn't trained for it.  Made me go "Awww...he always often sometimes once in a while says the right thing!"  The half marathon was more of a thing I did just to do it.  It was an experience I'm glad I had.  People were asking me if I was planning on doing another one.  I'm not going to say no, but I do know I don't really like running that much to begin with!

Have you ever done an athletic event just because you knew you could finish?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Longer Posts Coming Soon!

Hey, guess what?!?  I did a half marathon last weekend!  I need to recap that and the end of summer, too.  I'm mourning it (used to hate summer - who likes being sweaty?).  I need to respond to some stuff people at work have been saying (include as many eye rolls as possible).

I've had some bike trouble in the past couple of weeks.  Ask me how I feel about that.

Me and the trouble the BK drive thru :/
Or not.  Your choice.

I don't want to buy a bike trainer, but I think other people in my tri group are buying trainers and having "long rides" on the weekends.  Ugh.

I did degrease and lube my bike chain yesterday.  Felt pretty handy (thank you youtube!).

I've been bouncing around 218-220 here lately.  Just as long as its not an upward trend, I'm cool.  Here area  few pics I took tonight...first time wearing these bike/tri shorts by themselves (I did wear them under some capris once).  They fit much better than when I wore them at 233lbs!

Helmet hair

We hung out after our ride tonight and I stayed in this ensemble - I had to leave early bc I was cold!  Not warmed up yet, either!

We rode up a crazy, crazy (for me) hill tonight.  I caught 30mph on the way down and on the way up I bottomed out at 5 mph.  Ouch for the legs, but especially the lungs!

via google maps
Well, hopefully I get home before 8:45 some night this week so I can at least recap the half!  Hope you all are doing well!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Wet & Wild Triathlon

My third triathlon was last week!  It was the substitute race due to one last month being cancelled.  As I said in last week's post - I wasn't too psyched about the weather.  But all week was much better than forecast..warmer and sunnier.  The night before, the forecast said PM showers.  "Great!", I thought, "that will work out great for tomorrow morning's tri!".

The next morning I woke up at 6ish to the light pitter patter of rain on my roof.  I nervously checked the radar and there was rain right over the area, but it looked like it would move out in the next couple of hours, in time enough for the 9am tri start.  (Obviously I could tell this from the radar, being a meteorologist and all...*thick sarcasm*)  I went to the bathroom to get ready and as I popped in my contacts, it started - nearly a monsoon!  I knew it would pass, so I finished getting ready and went to load my bike on my car.  Still a monsoon :/

View from my front door:  Rainy and dark :/

I take the interstate most of the way to the tri - with a speed limit of 70.  Oh, and construction.  And my window's fogging up (because I drive a '99 and it has issues).  And let's not forget the "special" window in the back that slides down on its own, pelting my back seat with rain too.  It was one of the scariest experiences ever!  I was running late, so I was pushing it to begin with, but there were semis and other nervous/break tapping drivers.  There was a song on the radio during that time with the lyric "If you don't know what to say, just say Jesus".  I was all "JESUSJESUSJESUSJESUSJESUSJESUSJESUSJESUSJESUS"!  :)  Or "Jesus take the wheel" would have been an apt choice, as well.  I missed the freaking exit and was panicking because I was not pre-registered.  They were supposed to automatically transfer the entries from the cancelled tri to this one, but when I checked the list for my name the day before - no dice!  I called and they told me just to show up.  They said that the onsite registration was an hour long, and I got there 10 minutes late, so I parked my car - "special" window still down, and high tailed it to the pavillion.  I explained my situation to the race director's wife and she was very apologetic.  They had also run out of triathlon t-shirts, so they gave me one for the adventure race (canoe/kayak, trail run, canoe/kayak) that was going on a little ways down the lake.  LOL

I got back to my car, jimmied the window back up, and by that time, my entire sweatshirt was drenched.  I had my swimsuit on underneath, so I just stripped down, right there in the parking lot, standing in the middle of a giant mud puddle.  I took a pic of myself standing there with my sub par phone...

Water, water everywhere

 I went to take my stuff to transition...the bike racks/spots went up to number 144...I was number 145.  The last two rows near the highest numbers were jam packed too.  Not a spot to be found.  Curiously, the numbers 1-16 had been given out to adventure racers who did not need bike racks.  So I mosied on up the front and placed my bike by itself on a rack!  I got plenty of room and by the start of the race, there were only 2 other bikes on the rack.  It was great!  I found the port-a-potty (the ones brought in just for the race, not the ones there at the beach all summer - important difference!) and as I was standing in line, this gentlemen, maybe 48-50 years of age asked me for help w/his wet suit.  He had the back all whopper-jawed and I had to fix it and pull it tighter so it would zip.  It was hilarious.  I did all but say "suck it in!".  How quickly you make friends when you need to get in your wet suit!  The water temp was 71 degrees, and I had debated about trying to rent one, but I decided to go without.  There were 5-10 other people w/o wetsuits too.  I wandered on over to the pre-race meeting and saw that nearly 40-50 people were crammed under the pavilion.  Really?  The majority of these people were in wet suits!  We were going to be in the water shortly!  Made me chuckle.  All that excitement - and the tri had not even begun!

We made our way down to the beach.  It was probably around 65 degrees air temp with warm rain, so it wasn't that bad because I had been running around from my car to transition etc.  But standing there waiting my turn to enter the water, it got a little chilly!

Someone was trying to be artsy!  Mine are the non-wetsuit, very pale legs!

Before I knew it, I was off!  I was nervous because my "race goggles" were in the car.  I had grabbed my favorite practice goggles, which fog up terribly and have no reflective layer.  Well, overcast is amazing for sighting while swimming, and they didn't fog up that much, so it was pretty wonderful.  71 degrees can be freezing if you are just hanging out in the water, but as far as a race temp - I thought it was perfect!  Cold, but not chilly.  I passed a couple of guys on the swim, but had no idea of my time because I forgot my watch (sense a theme?).  The timing mats seemed farther up the beach this time.  I jogged until I crossed them and walked a bit.  As I got passed by one person, I decided I felt good enough to jog up to my bike.  It was still lightly raining at this point, so I had a couple of decisions to make.  Socks with my bike shoes?  Why not, I was just going to struggle with them later.  Shirt with race bib on it or no shirt (still have swim suit on btw)?  I forgot my race belt, so the bib went with the shirt.  I put that on and told myself that if I needed a new shirt by the time I got done with the bike, I could put on my newly acquired adventure race shirt (not thinking that it didn't have my bib on it!).

Took this shot from the fb page to show you all how wet it and dreary it started out!

I did that, grabbed my found Vega gel, and sunglasses (which was also a debate - I would need them both if it became sunny or if it was raining harder and water was blowing into my eyes).  I shoved the above mentioned things into the chest of my swimsuit and I made my way to the road!  I clipped in easily and was off!  The first thing I noticed was that I was very wet still.  My bike was spraying some water up from the road.  If I stopped pedaling, my shoes both filled with water.  It was weird and gross.  I put my sunglasses on when the wind and the rain picked up.  Despite that, I felt pretty good.  I was getting passed like crazy, but that is to be expected.  The course was different that I remembered, in the sense that the parts that I remembered being hard were relatively easy and there were others that I did not remember that were hard.  At mile 7, I decided to take the gel.  I opened it, took a little bit and instantly regretted the decision.  Was that how it was supposed to taste?  Was it expired?  Yeah, I'm an idiot for picking it up off the ground!  I really wanted to throw it to the side of the road, but we had been warned about penalties for littering and I didn't want to test my luck!  I stuck it back into my swimsuit (which, in the end, warranted me some weird chafe marks on my chest!).  The bike felt like it was taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R.  Near mile 9, it stopped raining and cleared up a bit.  The leaves were just starting to change and I passed the far end of the lake and saw several cranes sitting peacefully by.  I love moments like that!  If only I wasn't huffing and puffing on my bike!

The majority of people were on the 5K course, which is the last 1.5 miles of the bike.  It was weird riding by and being like "hey, i'm still on my bike and you're almost done!".  I got back to transition, safely unclipping, and a guy who was done and collecting his stuff from transition said "good job" to me.  I thanked him and asked him if he felt up to another run.  There was an awkward pause and he started laughing.  Then I was like "oh, I should laugh too", although I was mostly serious!  I grabbed my running shoes, which were squishy because I had not covered them up when I left transition, grabbed a gel I knew was good, and hit the road.

I told myself I didn't care if I walked the entire way, just to finish.  Well, I'm a little more hard headed than that, so I did a walk/run combo (naturally), where I ran until I kind of didn't feel like it anymore :)  It is an out and back, so the runners on the way back were very encouraging.  I knew there was a woman just behind me in transition, a man shortly behind her and then I saw a man later, still on his bike.  Just felt glad at that point that I wasn't alone!  There was water at the mile marker and I grabbed 2 cups as there was not one at the turnaround (which is open, not shaded like the rest of the course).  I finally tossed that stupid gel that had been in my upper swimsuit for so long!  After the turn around, I saw the woman shortly behind me.  When she got closer, she started saying things like "Let's go 145!  Don't let me pass you!".  And because I am lacking in social graces, I said "Nah, I'm good".  LOL  She did encourage me to run a whole lot more than I initially would have, but it was getting to the point where it was a little annoying!  She passed me a little before we were back at the water stop at with 1 mile left to go.  I can never really pick up the pace to a sprint when I'm running, but I did my best climbing that dreaded hill at the end and running into the finisher's chute.

There is the same lady at every race I have been to that hands out the medals and she is so sweet.  I'm always glad to see her face because it means I am done!  I had no idea what my time was, although I knew it was probably slower than my first tri there.  I scooped up my soggy transition items and flung them into my backseat.  By this time, of course, it was warm and sunny out!  I hung around a little bit, drinking my camelbak elixir and water.  I saw they had set up the food at the far pavilion, so I walked out there and got some food.  They were doing age group awards at the same time, so I probably missed getting second in my age group (out of 2!).  Oh well, the awards are glass mugs that have a plastic decal/sticker of the event on it.  Not that exciting.

I grabbed 2 cookies and one of the ladies asked me if I wanted apple cider.  I didn't particularly want it, but that stuff is like $6/gallon!  Heck yes, bring on the cider!   I grabbed a banana for later and as I was talking to a tri buddy, I kept getting swarmed by bees *slight exaggeration*.  I realized when I got to the car that the banana had this crack in it and was actually rotten.  Ugh!  They posted the results for the slow people :) a little later, so I saw my time - 3 mins slower this time.  4 mins slower on the bike alone.  That was frustrating.  Slower on the swim too, but good enough for 2nd fastest woman.  The run was faster than my first, but not by much.  It cracks me up that in the 3 triathlons I have done this summer, all my 5Ks at the end have been within 26 seconds of each other.  Glad I can be consistent!

So there it is, wet & wild triathlon.  3rd one of the year.  Last one of the season.  Can't really believe I have come so far this year alone.  I did NOT think I would be doing any big triathlons this year and would have been satisfied with the Super tri in February.  Let me just say - I can't wait for the next tri season to start!!!

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Few Firsts

Last week for our Wednesday tri group workout, we were biking.  Hills, to be more specific.

Now, these hills weren't new.  I had been up one many times and the other just once (and that was after a 45 min swim and 2 loops on a third hill).  I knew they would be hard, but could be conquered.
We started at B.S. Hill (haha, love the initials).  It was slow going.  As I was halfway up, I noticed that my gears were funny.  I never touch my gears for the front, just out of habit, but the bike shop had left it differently than they found it.  I changed the middle of a hill.  Yeah, I can be an idiot sometimes.  I was huffing and puffing, but did not fall over :)  The ride back down got me a sweet 30mph.  Love that!

We rode from that end of the park to the middle, where the other big hill is located.  I did this hill on July 4th.  I didn't remember it being that bad, but I knew it would still be hard.  I followed my group up the hill...slowly, very slowly, I made it to the top. Ugh, ouch, argh.  Breathing really hard.  "Crap!", I told myself, "I thought the first hill was always the worst!" The ride back down was a breezy 28mph, not too shabby.

I did not want to do the hill a second time, but I told myself not to be a weenie.  Hills are good for you and this one isn't insurmountable.  I started out again.  I was cranking my legs as hard as I could and in my easiest gear.  Only looking about 10 feet ahead of me, so as not to psych myself out by looking at the top.  It was hard.  REALLY hard.  I was passed by a group of riders that was all matchy matchy and envied them going by so quickly.  I finally made it to the top and took a short ride around to catch my breath.

On the descent, I could tell my bike felt weird.  Like shaky.  28mph isn't the best time to think "gee, I hope I don't have a flat", but yeah, it was.  I made it to the bottom, found my group, and confirmed that I had my first flat.  Tri Coach Jeff put some CO2 in my tube and he followed me the mile or two back to the YMCA.  He checked out my tire and didn't find any glass in the tire, replaced my tube, and got the wheels back to their normal again.

Then he put on my new pedals!!!  I was VERY nervous to go clipless, but Tri Coach Jeff and teammate Karen were both very encouraging (and thank goodness my coach is a former bike tech!).  My right shoe was decently hard to clip in, but it wasn't bad.  I got going a little bit and got my right to clip in pretty easily.  When it came time to try to stop, the action of twisting my foot to unclip was easy.  I think that having toe clips as pedals for the first 5 months was to my advantage.  Whenever I needed to stop with the toe clips, I had to wiggle my foot out, which is the same premise as the clipless.  I rode around the YMCA parking lot with Tri Coach Jeff and teammate Karen until the street lights came on.  After riding hills with a flat tire, riding in a flat parking lot with sufficient tires and clipless pedals felt amazing!

That night I woke up to pee and thought "wow!  I'm pretty hungry!", but was able to go back to sleep.  The next night, I had my Run for God group (31 min run) and then did another 7.7 miles on my bike with my clipless pedals.  I had some snacks at R4G (cheese, crackers, orange slices, a few chocolate covered pretzels, etc).  At home, I had 3 eggs and 1/2 a taquito.   It sounded like enough food to me, and I wasn't hungry at the time.  I knew I could have eaten more, but the scale had been dropping all week and I really wanted a good weigh in on Friday.

I woke up at 2am and thought I just had to pee.  Nope, laid there and tossed and turned and kept thinking how hungry I was until 2:40.  I got up, went downstairs and had the other half of that taquito.  My kindle battery was nearly dead, so I couldn't entertain myself that way.  I don't have a TV in my room either.  The TV in the living room is too far away to see w/o glasses.  So I ended up sitting my bed, eating Aldi brand cheetos, in the dark, at 3am.  Not my finest moment!

First time waking up b/c I was hungry.  Pretty lame!  I had that "do xyz to lose weight" mentality and let me tell you, it was stupid!  I would much rather get a full night's sleep on a full belly and be up a few tenths of a pound rather than go through that again!  In the morning, I weighed in at 219.2, which officially marks 70 pounds lost from my highest weight and 60 pounds lost since the beginning of 2012!  How awesome is that?  On one hand, the changes I've made make me totally believe it and on the other hand I'm like "have I really lost that much?!?".  Yep!

BTW, TeenSwimSis turned 15 this weekend!

Birthday Cake Pancakes (and bacon)

Some pretty lil roses I picked up for her.

Um, in a word: No.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A New Weekly Schedule

I've had my Monday-Wednesdays booked each week for quite a while now and it wasn't until recently that I got to add something consistent on Thursdays!

Monday: Tri Group workout - mostly swimming
Tuesday: Yoga
Wednesday:  Tri Group workout - biking, occasionally running.
Thursday: Run for God small group
Friday: Rest
Saturday:  Varies, hopefully Pilates + 1 other workout once life slows down
Sunday:  Rest (and work at the church)

I'm so excited about my small group!  I have been working at this church for over a year and have been attending services occasionally for about 6 months.  I know some people, but no one really well.  I really wanted to fit running in somewhere on my schedule, and I am glad that this fits the bill!  It is 1/2 bible study, 1/2 running, though not at the same time :)

I have been paying for Pilates on Saturdays, but since August, I've been busy with other stuff!!!  Yes, my first time back I know I will be sore for 5 days afterward!  I've been busy with things like:  2 tris, 1 - 3k swim, 39 mile bike ride, 20 mile bike ride (with SwimSis - it went EXACTLY how you would imagine 2 sisters riding 20 miles together would...terrible and hilarious all at the same time!), working a convention, and even a 6.8mi run last weekend (4 min run, 1 min walk).  The run was promptly followed by a bourbon themed bar crawl with bourbon samples at each (9!) bar.  It was delicious.  And yes, intoxicating :)

First time running with a hat...I liked it a lot!

I also have been reading a bit of my blog from last year, just to see where I was at, what I was going through.  I love this blog for that.  Otherwise I would forget.  I do this blog for no one but myself.  That's why the design is so crappy :)  One week, I switched around my rest days so I could go order a bridesmaid's dress for a wedding I will be in.  Easiest dress fitting ever - in and out in about 15 minutes!  When asking for what size they should bring, they asked "what pant size do you wear?".  Well, I knew they could care less if I squeeze myself into size 18 skinny jeans.  I know my body and I know my main concern is my bust!  I told them I'd like to start with a 22.  And it was perfect.  Any smaller and it would have been too restricting.  Very glad that it is 2 sizes smaller than the last bridesmaid dress I wore!!!

Aaaanyway, back to the point, I was reading this post about how I swam a 400 IM.  I was like "what?!? I haven't done that since!  Can't let my last year self beat this new and improved me!".  So I set out to my favorite pool to get a workout in.  I knew 400 IM would be no piece of cake - heck, anything that starts out with 100 butterfly is not a joke!  However, the joy I get from pitting me against myself is pretty great.  Last year I said my time was just a smidge under 8 minutes, which probably means it was like 7:58.  My strategy was to swim the 100 fly slow and steady.  Well after 50 yards, it sucked.  It was really hard still!  Well, that's butterfly for you!  I cruised for the rest of the 400 looked at my watch - I made it in 7:37!  If it wasn't easier, at least I cut off 21 seconds...made me happy!

How have you improved in the last year?  New PR? Small size?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Losing 5 Pounds Every Week

Unfortunately, it has been the same 5 pounds every week this past month or so.  So bad!  I will be up 4-5 pounds on a Monday and be back down to 222 by Friday.  Then the weekend hits and a few bad choices each day really add up.  Luckily, this was not the case last weekend as I weighed the same on Monday as I did the Friday before!  Hoping for a little loss this week too :)

As I've mentioned before, my quest is to get healthier and the scale is one reflection of many aspects of health.  It does affect my mood to a degree whenever I weigh in the mornings, so during the weeks I had tris or the like, I didn't weigh myself because I wanted to focus on what would make me physically and mentally sound.  And yes, I indulged waaaay to much a time or two (I'm looking at you, comedy show where 1 order of nachos could have been for 4 people and my 2 margaritas had very little mixer!).

I've been in more of a routine this past week or two and I've loved it and it has been exhausting all at the same time.  I have workouts and people to be accountable to Monday-Thursday with Saturday being my wild card.  I have been getting home between 7:45-8:15 most nights this week and I had to do midweek cooking on a couple of nights because I neglected to do it over the weekend.  Whew, I've been so rundown during the day, but after I exercise, I feel great!  (and please do not suggest morning workouts :) hehe)  I got asked to work a catering job tomorrow (Friday) night but I said no, because I need Friday to just be Friday! 

I have a dilemma regarding another tri this next month.  It is an open water swim, but I don't have a wetsuit.  A local place has them for rent and I went in to see if they had one in my size.  Apparently its by height and weight.  I gave him my height and the salesman found the right row and he asked my weight and his finger just scanned to the right across the columns.  Kept going, and got to the end and I heard "Well, doesn't look like we have anything that will be a perfect fit". I was 80% sure that was going to be the response when I went looking anyway.  He said there were a few I could try and he would gladly help me out (he emphasized that several times - weirdo), but I didn't feel like shoving myself into a wetsuit that day!  Their rentals are $65 and can be applied toward the purchase of a wetsuit, but when it comes down to it here are the facts.

That swim, the first time, took me 6 mins 13 seconds.  Meaning as far as swim time goes, the rental would be costing me $10 a minute.  No bueno.  I don't want to buy a wetsuit now because I'm hoping to be a smaller size eventually!  But what will the water temperature be on Oct 5?!?  :)  haha could be terrible!  I could drop down to the duathlon, but the only thing worse than a freezing swim is running twice!!!

Any input would be appreciated!

For now, here are some pics of my life from the past few weeks!

Ah!  Spoiled myself!  New Saucony running shoes and Shimano bike shoes!

I will probably make this again this weekend.  Spinach, chicken, blueberries, mandarin oranges, walnuts, raspberry vinaigrette - YUM!

Weird but tasty mash up meal.  Veggies, Italian sausage and salsa over spaghetti squash.  Taste buds love it!

Had a man/pedi this weekend.  Went with blue/purple for the toes (not gel/shellac).

And breast cancer pink (it really was!) in gel for my nails.  Still miss my red!

Needed some compression after a trail run.  I believe this is what Honey Boo Boo's family would call "smexy".

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Your Words Have Power

I'm not a super negative person who puts themselves down.  I don't call myself names, I usually don't think the worst of myself.  But that does not mean that I am out of harm's way.

I didn't notice that in my attempts to be modest, I was putting myself down.  When I was a nanny, I would say things like "Oh, I'm JUST their nanny".  Or "I'm not their mom, I'm ONLY their nanny".  Then a time or two I had a couple of women say to me "No sweetie, you aren't just or only their nanny, you ARE their nanny.  You are raising them in the hours that their parents can't.  That is a meaningful job and should not be overlooked in its importance".

That got me thinking about the rest of my life and I noticed this pattern in my everyday speech.  I wasn't being overtly negative, but I wasn't being positive either.  In the past month or two I've readopted this awareness.  I noticed I was saying JUST or ONLY when I was asked if I was a lawyer (I'm a paralegal).  Not being the at the top doesn't make my job less important.  It doesn't make me less important.

I knew I had that 3K swim coming up, which I was swimming with triathletes who were swimming 3K, then going on to bike 60K and run 15K.  Just because I was going to be done after the swim portion didn't make my race any less important.  It was something I had to be very intentional about because I did have to convey that I was stopping after the swim portion.  I chose to word it as "I'm doing the 3k swim only", so as to not make it a pre-qualifier (don't know if that is a real term or if I made that up).  I stuck to my guns and felt really good about that and was able to talk to several other athletes about the lack of long open water swims in the state (another post for another day!).

As far as a race report goes...I did it!  Factoring in sighting and wind/waves, it was more like 2 miles.  I had not swam in that choppy of water ever, so it made it interesting, to say the least!  My two wonderful friends (and one of their babies!) surprised me and came to see me compete.  I'm glad I got the notion to look at my phone when I went back to my car after checking in.  I normally don't look at it, but they had called me to tell me they were on their way!  

The Olympic distance was set off just after 8am.  And there was a ton of them!  200 people did the Olympic distance, which was 1 loop of the swim course (horseshoe shape - 1500 yards/meters).  They had allowed 20 minutes for them to go off before my group was supposed to go, but it was much longer that with the time trial start!  My friends arrived, I got them settled on the beach and everyone in my wave, the special distance that I mentioned above, was already in line.  I just hopped in the back of the line and was the last person off from my wave at almost 9am.  We were to do 2 loops.  After the first loop, we had to run along the beach from the swim finish back to the swim start and get back in there.  The sprint wave (400 yard swim) started after my wave.

It was windy, which made it feel cold on the beach, so I did not "warm up" due to the fact that I would have been cold very soon after!  And with that long of a swim, your warm up is built in!  I spent quite a while trying to get in a groove and not have the waves hit me in the face while trying to breath. The first buoy felt like it took forever to get to.  I was working against the waves at that point.  Swimming the 200 or so yards to the next buoy was relatively easy and then I turned the corner and was ready for loooong home stretch for the first loop.  But I was pretty confused as to what I was supposed to swim towards.  The kayakers weren't being very helpful.  "ORANGE BUOY - LEFT" was what one kayaker kept yelling. I supposed to go to the left of the buoy or is it supposed to be on my left?  I was just cruising along and finally figured it out (buoy was supposed to  be on my left).  I caught up to one or two people from the Olympic wave as well as the end of the sprint wave.

I swam close to the buoy that was near the shore.  I stood up and went to walk beside it, except the cement block that was keeping it anchored down got in my way and I nearly tripped!  I have some nice scratches on my toes thanks to that.  My friends met me as I got out of the water and jogged with me back to the start of the second loop.  they're too precious.  I think I'll keep them around!  They asked if I had another lap in me and I said "Definitely!".  Probably a sign that I took it too easy on the first lap. 

I was back in the water and pretty much stroke for stroke with another swimmer for a while.  Then my cap popped over my left ear.  I could also feel it creeping up the back of my head too.  I told myself not to worry or stop and fix it.  I could do that when I got to the buoy to turn.  However, that was at least 600 yards away!  It took my cap nearly falling off to get me to stop. caps and big heads.  Don't really mix!  I maintained a good pace and a good ratio of strokes to sighting.

I rounded the last corner and knew it was my time.  I was stopping after this last 500 or so yards and I needed to give it my all!  I kicked it in to gear and was picking people off one by one!  With less than 200 yards left, a swimmer got in front of me and I either had to pick up the pace to pass him or keep behind him.  As much as I enjoy drafting off another swimmer, I totally needed him to get out of my way!  Sooner than I knew it, I was back at the beach and out of the water and crossed the timing mats.  I looked behind me and I was happy that there were 10-15 people still in the water (I had started last).  I knew I didn't break any speed records, but I was happy with my performance.

I had no idea what my time was as I did not bring my watch.  I asked one of the guys who worked for the race company and he said there would probably not be immediate splits and there would be no awards for the three of us who did the swim.  Booo....  Oh well, I found an unopened Vega gel on the ground, which I totally took.  Those things can get expensive!  I also got a tri hat.  I told you about the weird trivia to win the door prizes before...well this time his question was "Do you want this hat?".  And I ran up and said "yes, I want that hat".  And it was mine.  Haven't worn it yet.  Still a little more excited about the gel, to be honest. :)

I am learning little by little to be proud of my accomplishments instead of downplaying them in front of others.  Just recently, when someone asked at work how I am losing weight, I said "I'm training for triathlons" instead of "eatting a little better and moving more".  Definitely a difference, and it is the truth!  I will use my words to empower myself and not tear down any of the work - both emotional and physical - that I have put in this past year and a half.  Just trying to be the best version of me!