Thursday, May 31, 2012

Three Things Thursday ...

Graduation - Today is Doodle's last day of preschool and tonight is her graduation ceremony.

an accurate depiction of her current excitement level ...
I know that we have been talking about her going to Kindergarten for months, but I can't help but think that this year just flew by. Who am I kidding? The last five years flew by. Before I know it, Dilly is going to be headed to Kindergarten too ...

Swimtastic - I've been doing a lot of shorter intervals during my swims recently, so I decided that I was going to do a two-mile endurance swim this morning. I was slightly apprehensive heading in, as 128 laps is just crazy talk, but I crushed it.

Mile 1: 32:59
Mile 2: 33:59

In case you are struggling with math this morning, that's two miles in 1:06:58. Three minutes and thirty seconds faster than I swam it in early March. I'm feeling kind of rockstar.

ZOOMA - Tomorrow morning I am headed to Annapolis to work the Tough Chik booth at the ZOOMA Annapolis Half Marathon and 10K. While I am not running, several of my friends (mostly bloggers) are and I can't wait to see them all and cheer them on. And if you happen to be running, please stop by the booth and say hi.

And if you haven't run a ZOOMA event before, I highly recommend that you do. These women-only event are empowering, supportive and the perfect excuse for a girls' weekend. Plus, the ZOOMA Race Series was developed by three running mothers. How cool is that? You can learn all about them HERE.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Highlighter

Before: The most HORRIBLE lavender hair ever.
Step 1: Apply Bleach
Step 2: Rinse out bleach
Step 3: Apply color
After: Yes, it looks like a highlighter exploded on my head
Bonus: The girls are rocking pink streaks too ...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Nuun Giveaway ...

It's no secret that I love Nuun.

I drink it throughout the day, while I train and when I recover.

And now that it's 90 degrees with 100% humidity here in Virginia, I love it even more.

I currently have a tube in my purse, in my car and two in my kitchen cabinet. Not to mention the four boxes I have in my pantry.

Nuun Active Hydration rocks my world. Here's just part of the reason why:
  • Packed with electrolytes, light flavor, no sugars or carbs, and portable, Nuun Active Hydration is the perfect sports drink.
  • The electrolytes found in Nuun will help alleviate cramps, help muscles function, communicate and burn energy efficiently.
  • Nuun Active Hydration comes in 11 flavors: Banana, Orange, Lemon Lime, Strawberry Lemonade, Fruit Punch, Kona Cola, Lemon Tea, Tri-Berry, Grape, Tropical and Citrus Fruit. (Banana and Lemon Tea are my favorites. I could tell you were wondering.)
Not only does Nuun have their Active Hydration line, they also produce U Natural Hydration and Nuun All Day, which was released last week.
I can't wait to try these new flavor combos: blueberry pomegranate, tangerine lime, raspberry grape and grapefruit orange

So, in honor of the unofficial start of summer and the high temperatures many of us are dealing with, I am giving away a tube of Nuun Active Hydration and a 21 oz Nuun Water Bottle to TWO WINNERS.


Entering is easy. Here's what to do:

Answer this question: What do you do to maintain your fitness when the temperatures rise?
 
Good Luck!
 
Official Rules:
  • One entry per comment.
  • Only entries submitted correctly will be counted. 
  • Contest will run from 5/29 until 11:59 p.m. on 6/4.
  • Winners will be randomly selected and announced on 6/5.

Friday, May 25, 2012

the sprain ...

I love my children.

I really do.

But that doesn't mean I can't see their weaknesses.

Dizzle is a wonderful child. She's smart and artistic. She's caring and thoughtful. She has the running form of Ryan Hall.
look at her foot placement vs. mine. she wins.
Dizzle is on point. Doodle, not so much.
Truth be told, this kid is awesomesauce.

Dizzle's big problem lies in her utter lack of coordination. Sure, to some this might not be seen as a deficiency, but as the spawn of two collegiate athletes, Dizzle is sure coming up short in this department. 

Not a day goes by that I don't have to tell her to pay attention to what she is doing.

She trips. She falls. She gets hurt.

Usually, it's just bumps and bruises. Yet, on occasion, she goes all out. Once, she knocked out her front tooth when she tripped and slammed a laundry basket into her face. And twice, she has broken her elbow, due to her inability to put her hands out when she falls.

Like I said, I love her to death. But the girl is clumsy. And as she's not getting better with age.

Yesterday, when I picked her up from school, she told me she had fallen on the playground and had gone to the clinic. I expected the usual scraped knee (which she had), but then she walked. Or should I say hobbled. Two days before our 5K and Dizzle can barely make it from the school to the car.

Fan-freaking-tastic!

Apparently, Dizzle was playing "Ballet" during recess and she tripped on the curb and fell. Not convinced that she had a serious injury, I subjected her to a battery of test.

Hop on one foot. Flex and extend. Walk flatfooted. Walk on your toes. March. Single leg squats. Run.

She failed them all.

Add that to the fact that her ankle looked like this ...

Left leg, where did your ankle bone go?
And we were hightailing it to Urgent Care. The exact place I wanted to start my holiday weekend at.

Fortunately, Dizzle's x-rays came back clean. She was diagnosed with a bad sprain. And is now rocking an Aircast.


The big problem here (other than missing the 5K) is that the splint makes her clumsier than ever and the doctor isn't 100% sure that she doesn't have a growth plate fracture, which apparently don't show up on x-ray.

Now we have to wait five days to see if she improves. If not, she needs to visit the orthopedist to get a cast for 3-4 weeks.

My gut feeling? We are just delaying the inevitable. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Three Things Thursday ...

5K - Since we had a change in our weekend plans, I signed the girls and myself up for the Autism 5K on Saturday. I love this race. So much so, that last year, I ran this race in a sling. It's a great course (think fast and mostly flat), it's a great cause and it's a great time with my run posse.

However, unlike the past three years, I will not be racing. Since J is out of town, I will be pushing Dilly in the stroller and walk/running the race (at a 1/1 or 2/1 interval) with Dizzle and Doodle (it's Doodle's first 5K). They have only run twice in the last month and nothing close to three miles, which will likely make for a lot of complaining on their part. Oh, and it's supposed to be like a billion degrees out. I'm sure they will be psyched about that.

RMR - On June 5, I am having my resting metabolic rate tested. I am really hoping that it will give me some insight as to why I am gaining weight and/or unable to drop weight despite consistent training and diligent calorie counting. I figure there are two scenarios here.

1. My RMR is really low, thus my 2500-3000 calorie per day diet far exceeds the amount that I actually need.
2. My RMR is really high, thus my 2500-3000 calorie per day diet is inadequate for weight loss and my training level.

Honestly, I'm not really sure which scenario I prefer. The thought of cutting my food intake makes me cringe (I love food), yet the prospect of eating more than I already do kind of hurts my stomach.

Swim Success - Ever since I got my new tattoo, I have been sitting out of swim workouts. Yesterday, I was my first day back and I crushed it. My workout called for a warm-up followed by sprints of 10x50m with 15 seconds rest, 5x100m with 20 seconds rest and another 10x50m with 15 seconds rest.

The last time I did this workout I averaged 0:56/50m and 1:58/100m. Yesterday, I averaged 0:53/50m and 1:53/100m, with my fastest 100m in 1:49. I'm pretty sure that's a huge amount of time to drop in a month.  It was awesome.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

scatterbrained ...

Most days, I am rather verbose. I could wax poetic about the most mundane topic. Today is not that day. Right now, I can barely formulate a complete thought. I'm a total scatterbrain. And maybe a little bit stressed out. But whatever. It's just where I am at today. In the last hour, all of these things have popped into my brain ...
  • Recent events have led me to see the abundance of crap in my home. Also, I'm noticing how rarely I dust, how badly everything needs to be painted and how disorganized my children are.
  • Our master shower is leaking again. It's the fourth time in three years. We just found out the entire thing needs to be replaced.
  • There has been a last minute hiccup in our Memorial Day travel plans. I'm cautiously optimistic that the disruption will be worth it.
  • The girls don't know about the hiccup in our plans. They are completely going to freak.
  • I'm considering having the girls run a 5K this weekend. They haven't trained at all.
  • The girls have been holy terrors the past few days. Dizzle and Doodle were sent to bed early last night due to their extreme disrespect of my rules. Dilly only held on my a thread.
  • I took all three girls to the dentist. Total nightmare.
  • When the girls stress me out, I want to exercise. Thus, I have become mildly obsessed with riding TigerBlood on my bike trainer. I rode 40 miles last night. Just because. Who does that?
  • I really want to eat gelato with every meal. Fortunately, I have enough stocked up in my freezer to do that. And thankfully, I train enough to be able to do that.
  • Coconut cream coffee from Disney World is freaking fabulous.
  • Just hearing the words "ruptured ear drum" makes me wince.
  • I really want to sign up for an Ironman. Following the live stream of Ironman Texas amplified that desire. J keeps telling me to calm the heck down. I know he's right. But that doesn't change how I feel.

See? Complete scatterbrain. It's gonna be a long day.

Monday, May 21, 2012

seven lessons ...

Dear Dizzle,

As your seventh birthday approached, I thought a lot about this letter and the ways in which you have grown over the last year. I had so much to say, but I could not find the words to capture your essence on paper.

So, I wrote nothing.

Then, it came to me. Rather than tell you why I love you so dearly, I would take this chance to impart my knowledge on you. Seven lessons for seven years.

Dizzle, one week old
Dizzle, on her seventh birthday
Lesson #1 - Be Strong, but Flexible

Dizzle, you are a natural born leader, but you must learn to lead with wisdom. Overpowering others and having strength are not the same thing. You must think before you react and you must weigh the options before you decide. My child, be strong in your beliefs, but do not forget to show flexibility. Sometimes, the greatest strength comes in showing that you have weaknesses.

Lesson #2 - Think Twice, Speak Once

Dizzle, like most people your age, you are quick to react and often speak before realizing what is coming out of your mouth. Try your best to stop this behavior now. Quick thoughts and fast words will only come back to bite you. A thoughtful presentation and timely delivery of your words will have a much more lasting impact. Remember to think twice and then speak once to avoid putting your foot in your mouth and yourself into time-out.

Lesson #3 - Listen to Your Voice

Dizzle, it's easy to get sucked into trying to be what everyone else wants you to be. Your friends, your teachers, your parents and the entire world around you will try to tell you what you "should be". Hear and consider what they are saying, but don't let everyone else's opinions be your guiding force. In the end, the only voice that really matters is your own. Listen to it. Trust it. It will guide you to exactly where you are supposed to be. 

Lesson #4 - Fight the Battles that Matter

Dizzle, sometimes we get caught up in what seems important right now, in this very instant. When that happens, we often forget to look at the big picture. We don't take into account that what seems huge right now, may make no impact down the line. You do this everyday. When I tell you no and you throw a fit, you are often making a mountain out of a mole hill. Try your best to find perspective. Don't sweat the small stuff and only fight the battles that matter. You'll be a whole lot happier for it.

Lesson #5 - Believe

Dizzle, do you know why people fail? Because they don't believe that they can succeed. I believe in you. And you should to. Believe in your strength. Believe in your beauty. Believe in your talent. Believe in your entire being. If you do that, you will be the best you possible.

Lesson #6 - Value People, not Things

Dizzle, although you may not think so now, the things in your life don't matter. They are just things. Things that can be replaced. Things that take up space. Where the true value lies is in the people who fill your days, the interactions that you share and the memories that you make. We only have so much time together, do your best everyday to value the people around you. Put all of your "things" aside and take stock in how lucky you are to be surrounded by people who love and support you. Not everyone is so fortunate.

Lesson #7 - Love With All You Have

Dizzle, some people believe that putting up walls is a great way to protect yourself from getting hurt. Maybe, it's true. Walls are a great form of protection, but they also keep you from experiencing life to the fullest. My advice to you: Don't build the walls in the first place. Love with all that you have and let the people you love know it. Every single day. You will never be hurt by giving love. Love conquers all.

Dizzle, you are an amazing person and I am honored to be your mother. I know that as you grow we will hit our share of bumps in the road, but remember that no matter how angry we get at each other, my love for you is endless and there is nothing that will ever change that.

Happy 7th birthday, my love.

XOXO, 
Mom

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Two Things Thursday ...

because I don't have time for three ...

Birthday - On Sunday, I will become the mother of a seven year-old. Seriously? How did that happen?

I remember my seventh birthday like it was yesterday. No lie. At my party, the cake was in the shape of a 7 and I had my own individual cake, as well. And now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure that's the exact moment when my cake obsession began.

Anyway, back to what I was saying. Dizzle is about to be seven. She thinks she's 17. And before I know it, she's going to be. Time moves too fast. It's blowing my mind. 

Craziest Weekend - For some reason, the third weekend in May is a historically crazy weekend for our family. And this year is no different, in addition to Dizzle's birthday, we've got a bajillion things going on.
  • I have two runs and a bike on my training plan.
  • My little sister Gina's 22nd birthday is Friday.
  • My mom and Gina's BFF are coming to visit.
  • Dizzle's birthday party is on Saturday afternoon.
  • I'm working the Tough Chik booth at the Richmond Multisports Powersprint Weekend on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Dizzle has cheer and Doodle has soccer (we probably won't make it to either of these).
  • Dizzle and Doodle have dress rehearsal for their dance recital on Friday. At 4:30. In the city. 
  • There are two dance recitals on Sunday. The first at 1 p.m. and the second at 5:30 p.m.
  • I am working as the "Room Mom" for the second recital.
  • And then there is all the prep work for the party, the expo, the recital and for having guests.
Needless to say, I'm going to need some crazy time management skills, my support team and a big slice of cake to get through it all.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Forever

my forearm new tattoo ...
 "Forever in my heart" written in my father's handwriting, 
transferred from a letter he wrote me 12 years ago.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

a decade ...

I've been considering what today would mean for me, pretty much every single day for the last 10 years.

I've gone back and forth on whether it would be more challenging and painful than the ones before. Or if the passing of an entire decade would somehow make things easier.

Truth be told, I'm still not sure.

10 years ago today, my father passed away.

It was sudden and unexpected. And recalling the moment when I knew he was gone, instantly brings me to tears. It's like not a single second has passed. I can remember every single detail about that night. I remember exactly what his sister said when I called to tell her. I remember thinking that it was unfair that I had to make those calls. And I remember how I knew that nothing would ever be the same.

And of course, nothing is.

It's funny. When you are a child a decade seems like an eternity. You long for the years to pass, wishing, knowing that something bigger and better is out there for you. Then as an adult, a decade passes with the blink of an eye and you are grasping to hold onto all those moments, good and bad,  who have made you who you are.

Over the past 10 years, I have done my fair share of grasping on and letting go. I've tried my best to cherish all of the good in my life. I've tried my best to move past the pain. And I've realized that having faith or knowledge that your present and future are going to be amazing doesn't take anything away from your past.

Moving on doesn't devalue your memories. And it doesn't make those who've left us any less important. It just gives you the strength to keep going.

So, today, and all the rest of my days, I will move on. But, I will never forget.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Cap2Cap Half Century Recap ...

Location: Richmond, VA
Date: 5/13/12
Weather: 60's, sunny, windy
Unofficial Distance/Time: 52 miles in 3:04:48

The Good:

Overall Experience: I have never done a group ride like this before, so I didn't know quite what to expect. And although I was rather apprehensive heading into it, I was pleasantly surprised. Everything from packet pickup to the post-ride festivities were top notch. The course was fantastic and well supported. I can not speak highly enough about my Cap2Cap experience.

The Course: The event directors at Cap2Cap did a fantastic job at making this event accessible to even the most beginning of rider. With course options of 15, 25, 50 and 100 miles, as well as two start locations (Rocketts Landing in Richmond and Williamsburg), you would be hard pressed to not to find an event that fits your ability.

In addition to being accessible to many levels of riders, the course was absolutely fantastic. Gentle rollers greeted riders as they traveled through the City of Richmond, Henrico and Charles City counties. Three feed zones along the way allowed the participants to rest and refuel as needed. Scenic views lined the course, allowing me to experience parts of Virginia that I may have not otherwise. And while I can only speak of the Half Century route from Rocketts Landing, I am confident that the other routes were equally as impressive.

MPH: Although our average speed was 16.9 mph, we were met with several hiccups in the first few miles, thus we rode much of the course at a significantly faster pace. On the flats, Sally and I were hovering between 20 and 22 mph and I couldn't help but think how easy it felt. It provided reassurance that all those hours on the trainer are paying off.

Support/Community: Do you know what will bring me back to even the most challenging of experiences? A well-run and well-supported event, and Cap2Cap provided exactly that. Every single aspect of this ride was top notch. In addition, the volunteers made it thoroughly enjoyable as they treated every single rider as if they were out there moving mountains. The support and sense of community alone was enough to convince me to do this ride again.

Post-Ride Festival: Upon entering the finishing area, riders were greeted with music, food (including a TON of baked goods), booths and beer.

Just a glimpse of the post ride festivities ...

Had I not had things to get back to, I could have hung out there for hours.

Finishing: Is there anything better than finishing a workout like that? No. I didn't think so.

Sally and I post ride. It was her first 50 miler ...

And I'm sure you can tell from the smiles on our faces, just how much fun we had.

The Bad: 

Cliptastrophe: Around mile 24, Sally and I came to an intersection. We unclipped. I stepped down. Then it happened and there was nothing I could do about it. Sally went to step down and as I watched, her bike slid out from under her while her other foot was still clipped in. She wiped out. Fortunately, she was fine. A few scrapes and a bruised ego, but fine. (Note: I only mention this because she told people on the ride that I was going to write about it. So, I am. Lucky for her, there was no video footage.)

The Ugly:

The Start: So, if you don't know, I have a few fears about my bike. Here they are in no specific order:
  • Crashing and dying.
  • Crashing and never being able to compete again.
  • Riding in groups.
  • Speed when going down hill.
  • Speed when turning.
The start of this ride encompassed almost all of those things.

From the start line, riders headed out about 50 yards and made a quick left around a circle. Lots of people. Not a lot of room. Doesn't work for me.

So, Sally and I hung back, we let pretty much every one else get ahead of us and then we left. About a block after we started, we were barely pedaling. The mass start had congested the road so much that we couldn't get through. For what seemed like an eternity, we were going 10 mph. It was insane. And frustrating. So much so, that we were cursing ourselves for even showing up.

About two miles in, we moved to open roads and should have been riding single file, something which eluded many of the people there. If we were able to get around one person/group, we were quickly met with another group riding three or four wide, making it unsafe and nearly impossible to get around. It was rough. Fortunately, by about mile 9, and definitely by the first feed zone at mile 12.4, the crowds had cleared enough to allow us to ride comfortably.

Friday, May 11, 2012

one stone, two birds ...

People are full of excuses.
  • I'm too tired.
  • It's too hard.
  • I could never be/do this, that or the other thing.

And probably the number one excuse of all time ...

"I don't have the time to do X, Y or Z."

I hear it constantly. Usually, in the following form ...

"I just don't know how you have the time to do all that."

To which I ALWAYS reply, "I don't have time either. I make it."

This morning, I was faced with a dilemma: Go to Dizzle's field day or get my run in.

I really didn't want to miss either, but I didn't want to spend the whole day away from Doodle and Dilly, nor did I expect that my little sister was going to spend her day off watching my kids. (Yes, I technically have a live-in babysitter. No, I am not OK with abusing that privilege)

So, I did what any crazy sane individual would do. I combined the two.

I dressed in a super cute outfit (per Dizzle's request, as to not embarrass her too much) and ran the three miles to the school. I got there just as the opening ceremonies were beginning, right before this dance.



I can't express how happy I was to have gotten to see that. Then, the games began. I stuck around for a few, grabbed a picture with Dizzle and then ran the three miles home.

me and mini-me

Sure, it wasn't ideal. And yes, I will probably be known as "that mom" who shows up to school events covered in sweat. But, I think it's a small price to pay to also be "that mom" who made her kid's day ...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Three Things Thursday ...

Half Century - On Saturday, Sally (Ironman-in-Training) and I will be taking part in the Cap 2 Cap Half Century ride (there is also a Century, Quarter Century and 15 mile Family Fun ride). As of right now, I have zero idea of what to expect. The website is kind of lacking information of any kind. I mean, last time I checked, the course hadn't even been posted.

However, I have been told/read that this is a fun ride, not a race (think big group ride, food/rest stops, etc.).

Hmm? Not a race? Well, apparently, they have never met me.

Of course, this is a race. Just like a group run is a race. And so is running on a treadmill next to someone else. In fact, from now on, if someone else is present during your workout, just assume that it's a race.

Assessment - In preparation for the 2012-2013 school year, I was asked to assess Dizzle and Doodle's learning style, strengths and weaknesses. The lists looked a little something like this:
  • self-motivated
  • highly competitive
  • works best when being held accountable
  • extremely focused on perfection when give a task she feels drawn to
  • analytical
  • high energy
  • tends to vie for leadership position and/or likes to be in control
Is it just me or do they sound like little endurance athletes in the making?

Do What You Love - The other day I wore my Ironman branded jacket to the grocery store. After I checked out, an employee asked the following question:

"Do you like doing those Ironman workouts?"

A seemingly innocent question, but I was instantly compelled to slap some sense into him.

I answered, "Yes. It's a big part of my life, but I love it." But all I could think was, "No, dumba**, I spend all of my free time doing something I hate. Don't you?"

When I came home, I reflected for a moment and then taught Dizzle the two lessons I got from that interactions:

Lesson #1 - Do what you love.
Lesson #2 - Don't ask stupid questions or risked getting slapped upside the head.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

facing fears ...

Fear.

It's a funny thing.

You can't hold it or see it. It has no shape or size. And it manifests itself differently to everyone.

The only constant with fear is that it can strike anyone. At anytime.

Over the years, I have had my fair share of fears. 
  • I have a fear of heights. 
  • I have a fear of my bike.
  • I have a fear of feeding livestock. 
  • I have a fear of flying.
  • I have a fear that history will repeat itself.
  • I have a fear that what seems like the right decision in the short term, might not be right for the long term.
  • I have a fear that I'll try and fail.
  • I have a fear that I'll try and succeed.
  • I have a fear that I won't be able to protect my children from everything I'd like to.
  • I have a fear that, like my own father, I won't be there to see my children as adults. 
Recently, that last fear seems to be been bothering me more than usual. There is something about observing other people's life and death experiences that makes you question your own mortality. That moment when you realize that you are not invincible, that you aren't immune to everything and that your life could also change in an instant.

It's easy to live your life in a bubble, ignoring what could or will be. It's safe there. There is no fear. I like that place. We all like that place.

But, is being comfortable enough? Maybe. Maybe not.

It's just that the more I think about it, it's not enough for me. I don't want my decisions to be dictated by a fear of the uncomfortable. I don't want to avoid change just because it might be a struggle.

From struggle comes greatness. And in that greatness, lies the moments you will cherish forever.

Fear, you've got nothing on me.

Monday, May 7, 2012

weight matters ...

Being overweight has scarred me.

In ways larger than the stretch marks and loose skin.

Being overweight, and then losing weight, has forever placed fear in my heart that all my hard work will stop working and I will be overweight again.

I am constantly scared that when the number on the scale starts creeping up that it's not going to stop. That someday I am going to wake up, and without even realizing it, the scale is going to flash 220lbs back at me and I will once again be at my start point.

I know, deep down, that this is an irrational fear. But it's a fear nonetheless.

I know that I train my butt off and it's only making me stronger.

I know that my diet is mostly on point. It's minimally processed and full of whole foods.

I know that I make most things from scratch and I record EVERY SINGLE calorie that crosses my lips. I'm aware of what's going in and I know how much I am burning off. 

I know that muscle is more dense than fat and I know all my clothes fit just fine.

I know that weight is just a number and that it's not the best indication of health or fitness.

But I also know that I've gained 6 pounds since beginning my half Ironman training in December and it bothers me like nothing else.

I know that my height-to-weight ratio is in line with a MALE triathlete, not a female triathlete.

I know that when I run next to many of my endurance athlete friends, I have to carry around 40-50% more body weight with each and every step.

I know that a runner can gain a 1% increase in speed for every 1% reduction in body fat.

I know that when it comes to endurance sports, weight matters.

And that's why I struggle.

Not because I want to be rail thin or because I want to flaunt a six-pack (although that would be nice), but because I want to me the most competitive athlete I can be. And my efforts to fight that number on the scale are coming up short, regardless of how hard I work.

Perhaps I should just throw the scale out the window. Just stop fighting all together. But not knowing what I weigh is almost as scary as watching the number creep up.

It's a battle I fight daily.

One that keeps those scars from healing.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Three Things Thursday ...

Non-Training Mileage Boost - For the first time in a very long time, I am not training for anything. My next running race isn't until Hood to Coast in August and my next triathlon is a sprint in September.

Of course, that doesn't mean I am floating along without direction. That's just not my style. Instead, I am currently working off a training plan that could probably have me ready to race a 70.3 in about 4 weeks. I mean, it only makes sense. You never know when someone is going to throw a free race entry at you. And I'd hate to have to pass something like that up.

With that said, there is one minor downfall to my current training style.

I keep adding workouts whenever I feel like it.

"Oh, the kids are in bed and you're going to watch TV? Why not watch TV from the trainer?"

"Oh, you have 30 minutes before anyone gets out of bed? Why not do some strength training?"

"What? No one is yelling at you while you're running on the treadmill? Why not double your mileage?"

And that, right there, is how I ended up logging an extra 20 miles on the bike and 3 miles on my run in the last two days. Yes, I know I have a problem.

Health Obsessed - Apparently, I'm not the only one with a love of fitness and healthy living in our house. Dizzle, Doodle and Dilly have jumped on that train too.

Need proof? Hmm, where to begin?

1. Every time Dilly finishes a glass of milk she says, "I drank all my milk so I can have strong muscles!"

2. We constantly find the girls using our free weights. Here's Dizzle doing some shoulder presses in front of a mirror while I run on the treadmill.


And, on more than one occasion, we have found Dilly sitting on the couch holding two pound dumbbells over her head in an attempt to "get big muscles."

3. I get asked about 865 times a day if we can go on a run or if we can run on the treadmill. And all three girls, including three year old Dilly, ran a mile on Monday and I had to literally drag them inside so that they would stop doing loops around our cul-de-sac.

4. My kids are afraid to say the "F" word. No, not that "F" word - FAT. Our conversations go a little something like this.

"Mom, don't eat all of that cake or you might get F-A-T" *cue scared face*
"Yes, if you eat too much cake all the time you might get fat. But you can have it sometimes."
"Oh, good. Because you really like cake."

5. "Can you help me with some stretches?" is a normal question in our house.

J and the girls stretching ...

6. The girls try to play catch with a six-pound medicine ball.

7. Swim caps, goggles, running skirts and tall socks have become casual wear around here.


I guess we could have worse obsessions ...

Summer Vacation - Now that it's May, I am anxiously awaiting the end of the school year. For some odd reason, I am really looking forward to having all three kids home all the time (we keep our Summer unscheduled. No camps. No classes. No anything). Or maybe it's just the sheer level of insanity that May has in store for us that makes me long for it to be over. 

Either way, I'm sure that two weeks into break, I am probably going to feel completely different, especially considering the lack of volume control that my children have.

How about you? Are you looking forward to or dreading Summer vacation? How do you plan to keep your kids occupied?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

April Rewind ...

Run Miles Ran: 92.57 miles

Bike Miles Rode: 303.5 miles

Swim Meters Completed: 13931 meters or 8.65 miles

Rest Days Taken: 7

Highest Run Mileage Week: 4/9-4/15: 30.58 miles

Highest Bike Mileage Week: 4/23-4/29: 90.4 miles

Highest Swim Volume Week: 4/23-4/29: 4700 meters

Long Runs Completed (10+ miles): 3

Current Book: I just cracked the spine on Train Like A Mother. Now if I could only get a moment to read it ...

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Two words - Vampire Diaries. My little sister has the first two seasons on DVD and I have a new way to pass the time while I'm on the bike trainer.

Current Colors: Blue and Orange. Like my hair and shirt combo ...

Note that my shirt says, "Sissies Play Contact Sports." So awesome.

Current Drink: I'm on a rotation of water, Nuun and Dunkin Donuts coffee.

Current Song: So Good - B.O.B.

Current Triumph: I crushed 50 miles on the bike yesterday and I found my Run Love this morning, when my scheduled four miler turned into seven. Basically, my training is epic right now.

Current Goal: Be a better me. Each and every day.

Current Blessing:
Generally, I feel like my whole life is one big blessing and I am entirely grateful for that. But, having my little sister move in with us is pretty much the best thing since sliced bread. You never fully understand how much easier things can be with an extra set of hands (or a live-in babysitter) until you have it.

Current Excitement: Having made the Nuun Hood to Coast team is pretty much at the top of my list right now. Well, that and Dizzle's 7th birthday, the end of the school year and our impeding trips to Indianapolis and Disney. It's going to be a good few months ...


2012 To Do List Update:

Fitness:
  • Take 70.3 training day by day. Don't get caught up in what is coming, but rather focus on what is. Trust that it will get you where you want to be. - CHECK
  • Find the strength to NOT add races to your schedule during 70.3 training. That is your focus, don't screw with that because of FOMO (fear of missing out). - CHECK
  • Cross the finish line of your first 70.3 in less than 6:57:59. - CHECK. Goal crushed. 6:39:39.
  • Maintain at least one day of cycling and one day of swimming per week, post 70.3. Give J some proof that a new road bike would be a good investment. - CHECK. One month post 70.3 and right on track.
  • Log 4,000 miles, swim, bike and run combined. - As of May 2, 1752.39 miles completed
  • Race a 10K with a finish time much faster than your very dated current PR of 53:17.
  • Set a new PR in the Half Marathon, currently 1:57:06 (or 1:56:18, if the half split from the NYC Marathon counts).
  • Race a Fall Sprint Triathlon. Actually train for the event, unlike in years past.
  • Add strength training to the routine. - CHECK. 7 strength sessions last month.
Nutrition:
  • Eat like an athlete. Be mindful of the nutritional value of your food. - I've been killing this. But, apparently my scale doesn't care.
  • Consume no more than 18 desserts from either Shyndigz or Two Sweet Cupcakes (approximately 1 dessert/3 weeks) - As of May 2, 10 desserts consumed.
  • Cut out snacking on the girl's leftovers. Just because they don't eat it, doesn't mean you have to. - CHECK
Personal:
  • Only say yes to the projects you REALLY want to work on. - CHECK
  • Throw away the credit cards. Stop repeating history. - CHECK
  • Ignore your impulses. Take time to process the true value of the things you are filling your space/life with. - CHECK
  • Declutter and Organize using this calendar. - CHECK
  • Continue to balance family life, training and now, work. - CHECK
  • Prioritize and be a good example for the people in your life. - CHECK
  • Help and support J and the kids in reaching their goals. We are a team and that must always be the primary focus of our lives. - CHECK

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

North Face Endurance Challenge Winner ...

In all of my obsessing about my shoulder this morning, I forgot to announce the winner of the North Face Endurance Challenge D.C. race entry.

There were 17 valid entries and thanks to random.org the winner is ...

#1 ~*~*~Tracy @ Our Life with 3 Guys and A Doll

Congrats Tracy! Please email me at racingwithbabes (at) yahoo (dot) com to claim your prize.

one year ago ...

May 1, 2011 started out like any other race day.

G and I met up in our matching outfits for Columbia Muddy Buddy Richmond.


We were ready to race and once we saw the rest of our age group, ready to win. As the race started, G jumped on the bike. Two minutes later, I set off on foot. We would swap at the first exchange point after climbing an 8 foot wall.

When I got to the obstacle, I had passed all but one or two of the other runners. I climbed the wall and thought, "This is insane. There is no way I am doing this again." Then, I hopped over to the other side, found our bike and took off.

100 meters later, I crashed.

Total user error.

I tried to slow down, but instead, I flipped the bike. All I could think was "duck and roll." So, that's what I did. I protected my head. And smashed my shoulder. Initially, I tried to get up and continue. Then I looked over at my shoulder. And it looked like this ...

Total AC Separation

I walked back to the first exchange, was carted off the course and rushed to the ER.

G, who had no clue this had happened, waited at the next exchange until another runner told her I wasn't coming.

It was horrible.

 


And I was in pain.

10 days later, I had my shoulder reconstructed. That would be the last day my shoulder held me back.

18 days after my surgery, I ran a 5K in a sling.

6 months later, I ran two marathons in one week.

11 months to the day after my crash, I finished my first Half Ironman.

And this morning, one year to the day, I cut my 70.3 Athlete Wristband off.


I wore it for an entire month. It signified how far I had come since last May and reminded me of how much further I want to go.

That crash changed me.

Am I over it? No
Do I ride without fear? No
Am I pain-free? No
Does any of that really matter? Not one bit.

It's just another thing to help define me as a person and an athlete ...