Thursday, January 31, 2013

Two Things Thursday (because three would be too much) ...

Let's get this party started. - I know that some people really hate their birthdays, but I have never been able to figure out why. There isn't anything wrong with aging and if you do it right, like a good cheese, you get better with time. Plus, with each day that passes, you gain more and more memories and moment to make your life fulfilling. Really, I'm not seeing the downside here.

In exactly one week, I will celebrate my 31st birthday. And it's going to be amazing. Even if we do nothing but eat cake. Also, I'm considering starting my birthday week today and continuing it for the week after my birthday as well. This should open up the opportunity for more people to celebrate with me. Also, it gives J some leeway, considering he's traveling on my actual birthday for like the 20th year in a row.

Calories in. Calories out. - So, back in June I got my RMR tested. Long story short, my metabolism is crazy fast and I burn 2500 calories BEFORE you factor in normal daily activities and exercise. If you add in what I burn from cleaning the house, walking around and all that stuff, as well as 30 minutes of exercise, I need around 3500 calories.

Truth be told, I NEVER eat that much. I might hit 2,500 calories on a day when I workout for 2 hours. Maybe. When I first got the results, I did attempt to eat more, but started to gain more weight and stopped. I know in my head that this is just my body correcting itself, but it's hard to get over that number on the scale.

Anyway, I know that as I start 140.6 training in the coming weeks, I have to eat enough to fuel my workouts or I am never going to survive. I am doing my best to ignore the voices that are telling me to eat less and I am trying to embrace the sheer amount of food I am eating. The real problem is that 3500-4000+ calories of REAL FOOD is a ton of food. For example, yesterday after eating dinner, I had 1600 calories remaining and I was in pain from the amount of food I ate at dinner. I couldn't have eaten another bite.

So, I need some tips for how to get more calories in without feeling like I am constantly going to explode AND without eating a bunch of junk food. And it would be epic if someone could tell me that they've upped their calories like this and haven't gained a million pounds in the process.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Team Rev3 Tri ...

So, I've been keeping a secret.

From pretty much everyone.

Back in October, I applied to be a member of Team Rev3 Tri.

I was so positively convinced that there was no way that I would get selected that I didn't tell a single soul. Well, except for one person - the person who recommended that I apply. I didn't even mention it to J until I got made it to the phone interview. (Yeah, I know, real mature of me, right?)

Then, just before Christmas, I got the best email EVER, letting me know that I had been selected to represent Rev3 Triathlon for 2013. It was epic and I was over-the-moon excited. And I wasn't allowed to tell the world.

Do you know how hard it is to not share your big news when you spend all day every day talking about yourself? Yeah, it was torturous. I'm not good with secrets. I'm more of an open book kind of person.

Anyway, so I made the team, *insert screaming here*, which meant that I got to travel to Denver/Boulder for the team summit this past weekend.

View ...
After view ...
After view ...
Holy freaking cannoli! Talk about amazing. The location. The people. The sponsors. Everything.

The faces we show to the public ...
What we are really like ...
It was all top notch and I feel beyond blessed to be a part of the Rev3 family and to represent them (and all of our sponsors) this year, and hopefully for all of eternity, if they'll have me.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday Dilly!

Dilly, one day old ...
Dilly, four years old ...

Dear Dilly,

Today you are four. Maybe it's because you're my last but it feels like the past four years have elapsed in the blink of an eye. It's a thing that I both love and hate. I love that you are no longer a baby that needs me for every little thing, but I hate the thought that with each day that passes, you will rely on me less and less. Honestly, I want to be your everything, but deep down I want for you to be your own person even more.

So, forgive me if I hold on too tight, if I kiss you too much, if I snuggle too long. It's such a mixed blessing to watch your child grow and mature when you love them so endlessly as they are in this very moment.

But, I know that growing up is just a part of life and fighting it would only be a disservice to you. So, I won't fight. Instead, I will promise to continue to support, nurture and comfort you while simultaneously allowing you to fail, struggle and overcome. All lessons you need to learn.

All I ask of you, Dilly, is a few promises in return. In no specific order, here is what I ask of you on your fourth birthday.
  • Live Big. I know at times I can be stifling because I'm busy, I'm tired or I just can't take the noise. Don't let that stop you. There is nothing more important to self esteem than being EXACTLY who you are. I love and am proud of who you are and always will. UNCONDITIONALLY.
  • Know and stick to your convictions. People may say you're wrong, but you are the only person you have to answer to. Unless Dad or I catch you in a lie. Then, just fess up. It will help you in the long run.
  • Put your incredibly absorbent brain to good use. Learn everything you can and share it with the people around you. I will always listen. Even if you're just reciting your favorite book, "Good Night Denver," for the hundredth time.
  • Love with all your heart and let everyone know it. Don't fear the pain of love gone wrong, of friendship lost or unhappy endings. The rewards of loving with all that you have are always greater than the rewards you get from shielding yourself. This is not to say you need to love everyone, but be sure to always show kindness. You never know who you might need to lean on down the line.
  • Listen to me the first time. I don't say things just to hear myself talk. When I say something, I mean it and you need to learn to respect that. I know that more often than not you are just testing the limits I've set for you, but trust me, if I set a limit, I'm not budging. So, don't waste your time.
  • Always be a kid, even when you are old like me. I know that maturity has it's place but life will be so much more fulfilling if you keep your youthful exuberance.
If you keep these promises, you will be even more phenomenal than you already are. And trust me, I can't even begin to express the magnitude of your awesomeness as it is.

Dilly, I love you to infinity and beyond and I am so blessed to be your mother. Happy birthday Baby Boo!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

{mostly} Wordless Wednesday: Bridal Shower

Last weekend, I attending a bridal shower for my little sister, A. It was beautiful and sophisticated, thanks in large part to the effort my mother put forth. 

the room ...
the food ...
even more food ...
the decor ...
the table settings ...
 So of course, we acted like this ...

Yup, I'm scary jacked. Thanks, CrossFit.
Um, yeah ...
Photobomb ...
Yeah, no one said my family was classy. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

perspective ...

The older I get, the more I realize that everything in life boils down to perspective. Unfortunately, it can be really hard to find the right perspective when you are deep in the trenches. When things are fresh, it's easy to get wrapped up in emotions and lose your common sense.

I see it constantly with my children. They have such a limited scope that they often fuss, worry and obsess about things that are going to be meaningless down the road. I often find myself stepping in, trying to rationalize with them. But, ultimately, you can't rationalize with someone when they are emotional. I'm not sure that anyone can really "hear" you when they are fired up with emotion. And sometimes, it's best to leave things unsaid.

And my children aren't alone in this. I'm sure it happens to everyone. I know it happens to me.

There have been many times I have been smacked in the face with a reality I didn't want to or was too scared to accept. I tried to escape the negativity, but just kept getting sucked back in. The thing is that without the right perspective, it can be impossible to move on.

Maybe you changed or someone else did. Maybe things were never really what you had imagined them to be. Maybe you were grasping for something you thought you wanted, something that would make you a better you, something you didn't even realize was driving you. And then, it's just not.

Suddenly, you are left questioning what happened and why. You torture yourself with "what if" and "if only". But really, nothing is going to make you feel any better. Nothing except time. And perspective.

And it happens just like that. One day you wake up and realize that the emotions are gone and so is the hurt. You no longer care why things ended up as they did. You just accept that everything is the way it should be. And more often than not, you are left questioning why you even cared in the first place.

People come and go.
We succeed and we fail.
Pain is only temporary.
No matter how hard to try, you can't force yourself to be something you're not.
Life goes on.

And perspective is what gives us the strength (and comfort) to accept these realities.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Three Things Thursday ...

And the beat goes on - For the past 17 days, I have been training solely on heart rate. At times, it has been super frustrating, like when I averaged an 11:06 pace for a 90 minute run. But, the more I work at it, the easier it becomes and I am no longer hating it when I have to slow to get my heart rate back in range. I no longer feel the pressure to run faster or longer. I just trust that I'll get the results I want if I stick to my zone.

And those results are coming. My pace is getting faster, not fast, but faster. This past week, I've had some killer runs. And I even had one run that allowed me to run at what I would have considered "conversational" pace prior to this whole experiment.
  • 4 miles at a 10:17 pace, avg HR 141
  • 5.8 miles at a 10:20 pace, avg HR - 150
  • 4.26 miles at a 9:23 pace (the treadmill makes it much easier), avg HR - 147
  • 6.85 miles at a 10:13 pace, avg HR - 147
  • 9.9 miles at a 10:06 pace, avg HR - 147
Those paces get me excited and the best part is that I'm almost never going out of range. When I see it creeping, I just dial it back a little. The thing I struggle with the most is running closer to my upper limit of 155 when I am not on the treadmill. I have found that if I am not sitting at 145-147, I will almost certainly have to walk up hills. If I run with this buffer, I can almost always run the entire time without spiking on climbs. And since I'm not an expert, I'm not really sure if I'm approaching this the best way.

Bully Drama - Remember that "Doodle is my bully" crap from last week? Well, the drama continues. Two days ago, I got an email from Doodle's teacher saying that Doodle and her accuser were sent to have a meeting with the guidance councilor after the teacher received an email from the accuser's mother. Apparently, the girls were brought together to discuss how to better manage their issues. After the meeting, it was decided that the girls should "spend some time apart" for the next few days. I'm psyched about this. Doodle is psyched about this.

When I asked Doodle what happened at the meeting. She said, "We talked about what to do when we get mad at each other." Then I asked her what the other child's specific issue was and she said, "That time I opened my juice and it squirted in her eye. She said I did it on purpose, but it was an accident."

Knowing that my children's drink cups have a tendency to build up pressure from the Nuun that I put in them, I know that they often squirt when they open the spout. I also know that all of us have been hit by the spray. And I fully know that it was truly an accident. In fact, the very next day, Doodle squirted herself in the eye. What I didn't know was that a six year old would immediately assume it was malicious. Why would she think that? Aren't parents still teaching their children that people are essentially good? I know, I am.

Ugh. Whatever. I'm just frustrated by the whole situation.

Crazy Dizzle - If for some reason you're not following me on Twitter, you probably missed the gems that came out of Dizzle's mouth recently. In a matter of five minutes, she hit me with both of these ...

"Mom, I'm a vampire because my face is white and I like to stay up late." (No, Dizzle, your face is white because you are, in fact, white.)

And ...

"I wish Tom Brady could be our step dad. He's like a millionaire. But, it would never work because you're still married to Dad."

For that, I had no words.

Monday, January 14, 2013

half truths ...

When I woke up this morning, I didn't want to get out of bed. I was comfortable. Sure, I set my alarm for 4:30 a.m. knowing it would be one of the only chances I had this week to swim. But, for a minute, I considered shutting off the alarm and rolling over. I told myself I'd find the time later. That I'd squeeze it in somewhere.

My heart and mind knew it was a lie. If I didn't get up in that very instant, I probably wouldn't swim until next Sunday. Not a big deal if you are just cross-training. But, kind of important if you are building your base so you can face 140.6. I reminded myself that some choices are worth getting up for. That I wasn't going to regret leaving my comfy bed once I jumped in that pool. It was just another in a long list of half-truths I've told myself over the years to keep my motivation high.

Truth be told, I did kind of regret leaving my bed when I jumped in that pool. It was cold. Much colder than it usual and it took some serious negotiation with myself to stay in.

Again, I told myself another half-truth. It's odd how something that is equal parts truth and lie can be completely motivating or stop you dead in your tracks. It all just depends on your perspective that day. And today, I chose to believe that there was a little more truth than lie in the promises I told myself. I had faith that I'd appreciate a solid effort more than a return to the warmth of my home. I had to. I know you never get anywhere you want to go unless you push yourself.

For 50 chilly minutes, I pushed past my desire to stop. I lost myself in counting laps and daydreams of swims to come. I thought about how hard it felt in that very moment and how much harder it will feel on race day. I acknowledged my weaknesses and envisioned a day when those weaknesses had been wiped away. It was just me, the water and a series of half-truths that I was choosing to have a little faith in.

When I got home, the sky was ablaze. Blue and pink. Orange and yellow.

All those half-truths had paid off. They got me right here to this very moment. A moment where the day seemed limitless and full of potential. It was worth every second.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Three Things Thursday ...

Bully - Dizzle and Doodle's school is really into their anti-bullying campaign. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't want to see anyone get bullied, but I don't necessarily thing shoving "Let's all be friends!" down their throats is 100% effective either. Also, my children are kind of young (and naive) and I don't think they or their peers truly understand the difference between a bully and someone who just doesn't like you.

Case in point, in the past week, both J and I heard a little girl say that "Doodle was her bully." (Doodle says this child says this almost every day.) This kind of threw me for a loop. I know that Doodle isn't particularly fond of this person. And I am aware that on more than one occasion, Doodle has stood up to this child when others wouldn't.

Does this make Doodle a bully? No. But, not being at school to see my behavior myself, I needed some insight as to whether or not my child was doing things unbecoming of her character.

So, I asked their teacher if she had witnessed any bully-like behavior from Doodle. She told me absolutely not, but that Doodle doesn't cave into the other child like many of her classmates have been known to do. She believes that the other child just doesn't know the proper use of the word bully.

I was relieved that my Doodle is behaving like my Doodle and not some demon-spawn, but I really am not chill with other people hearing that my child is someone's bully - especially since it's not true. It really makes me wish there was some sort of manual for this whole parenting thing.

Shoulder - For the past two weeks or so, my shoulder has hated me. For some odd reason, it didn't like the 4,000 push ups and pull ups I did at CrossFit and has been fighting me ever since. The really weird thing is, it doesn't bother me at all when I work out, but instead, I will get this random (and intense) burning sensation right where my clavicle separated from my shoulder joint. I'm guessing that it's because my shoulder is held together by scar tissue that doesn't like to be messed with. Who knows? Either way, it's like a daily reminder whispering in my ear ...

"Don't forget you crashed your bike ..."

Which only makes me more scared to ride my bike. It's such an evil cycle ...

Crack - I am now confident that Cinnamon Chex are not, in fact, coated with cinnamon sugar, but rather Crack, which would explain why my hand keeps finding it's way into the open box in the pantry. I mean, it's totally not my complete lack of self control or anything ...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

following the beat ...

Oh, heart rate training.

If you ever want to do something completely frustrating, then try heart rate training.

For quite some time, I have known the merits of heart rate training.

I know how if you do the vast majority of your training in Zone 2, the "fat burning" zone, you will train your body to burn fat as fuel, thus making you more efficient.

I know how beneficial this sort of training can be for endurance sports, especially multi-hour events like ultras and long-course triathlons.

I know how if you are consistent with heart rate training, over time you will become more fit and that your paces within those zones will drop, often significantly.

And I know that it is incredibly hard to overtrain if you stay true to your heart rate zones. Really, it's a no-brainer. For most people, heart rate training is the way to go. Unfortunately, heart rate training is incredibly hard to do and pure torture if you are used to running by "feel".

One of the things on my 2013 To Do List was to stop obsessing about distance and train solely by heart rate. Because of this, I feel like I at least have to give it a solid effort. So, that's what I have been doing since January 1. And I've already learned some valuable lessons.

To begin with, heart rate training really messes with your ability to run with other people. In the past, I have shown up to run with friends and run whatever everyone else was running. Some days the pace was slow. Some days the pace was fast. But most of the time, I would call it conversational.

Now, when I run with others, I have to warn them that my pace will be incredibly slow and that if my heart rate starts climbing, I will have to slow or even walk to get it back into range. Although some people are chill with me screwing with their run like that, I really don't like to do it. It's just easier to run solo, even if that just means running a few blocks behind everyone else.

I have also learned that what I call "conversational" pace when I run by feel, in no way aligns with my Zone 2, although it should (in theory). This fact means one thing - my concept of "conversational" pace is really off. For example, during Christmas break I ran 8 miles with a friend with an average pace of 9:33. I would have said that was an "easy" run. We didn't struggle. We talked the entire time.

Today, I ran pretty much the same 8 mile route and stayed in Zone 2 (for me 138-156 bpm) the entire time. My average pace today was 11:06. And I probably could have run forever, which is kind of the point of running in Zone 2.

Ultimately, I know this is going to pay off. I just need to have patience and the mental fortitude to ignore the urge to pick up the pace. So, from now on, I'll be following the beat ...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Three Things Thursday ...

Active Kids - The other day, I told the girls that they can run on the treadmill whenever they like. They were all game. Unfortunately for Dilly, I had to inform her that at the ripe old age of three, I wasn't going to let her partake in the fun. To say she was upset is an understatement. If she can't do it, she doesn't want her sisters to do it either. In fact, this conversation happened yesterday ...

Doodle: Mom, I want to run.
Dilly: It's not a very good day to run outside.
Doodle: Well, I am going to run on the treadmill.
Dilly: It's not a very good day to run on the treadmill.
Doodle: Everyday is a good day to run on the treadmill.

I couldn't help but smile. Within seconds of that conversation, Doodle had put on her sneakers and was ready to run. So, being a completely normal mom/blogger, I grabbed my camera and interviewed her while she ran. I think it's pretty funny. Especially the part where you get to see that she is running in a black and pink sparkle dress.

Yeah, she's kind of a big deal.

La, La, La - Dizzle also ran yesterday. She, however, does not share Doodle's enthusiasm, which is a shame considering she has perfect form. Like Ryan Hall perfect form. Where Doodle would run all day, I have to convince Dizzle that she's not going to die just because her legs are a little sore.

Dizzle's passion lies not in athletics, but performance. Just the other day, we were talking about people's innate strengths and she told me, "I must have been born to sing and dance."

Truth be told, she's probably right.

Last week, she wrote a song. Then I asked her to sing it. It was kind of awesome.

Click HERE to see it. (For some reason I can get both videos to embed in one post.)
Um, yeah, she's seven.

Pimples? - Two nights ago, when I was putting Dilly to bed, she kept taking her reading light and shining it in my eyes. After a couple cycles of shining and removing the light, she said the following to me.

"Mommy, your pimples are getting really big."

No, Dilly, they're not. I think you mean pupils.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

December Rewind and 2012 To Do List Update ...

Miles Run: 40.25 miles. Yup, that's what happens when you take three weeks off.

2012 Total Run Miles: 937.3

Bike Miles Rode: 52.4. Again with the forced rest ...

2012 Total Bike Miles: 3036.65

Swim Meters Completed: 4500 meters or 2.8 miles

2012 Total Swim Miles: 109.48 or 176,190 meters

Rest Days Taken: 18. That whole antibiotic which might cause tendon rupture was kind of a bummer.

Highest Run Mileage Week: 12/4-12/30: 20.65 miles

Highest Bike Mileage Week: 12/24-12/30: 20.6 miles

Highest Swim Volume Week: 12/24-12/30: 2400 meters or 7.5 miles

Long Runs Completed (10+ miles): 0. Second month in a row. I'm currently building my run base again.

Current Book: Right now, I am waiting for the library to open so I can pick up the books I have on hold. However, I was a reading machine this month, finishing all of the following. (Note: For those of you who have asked, if it's on this or any of my lists, I would recommend the book. If I don't like the story or the book doesn't grasp my attention, I don't bother finishing it, thus it wouldn't be listed here.)
  • Wheat Belly by Davis
  • I am Number Four by Lore
  • The Power of Six by Lore
  • The Rise of Nine by Lore
  • Divergent by Roth
  • Insurgent by Roth
  • Delirium by Oliver
  • Erasing Time by Hill
  • The Fault in Our Stars by Green
Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Lactose-Free Vanilla Ice Cream with Trader Joe's Peanut Butter mixed in.

Current Colors: Charcoal Gray and Orange
Current Drink: Hot tea with a touch of sugar and creamer.

Current Song: Home - Phillip Phillips. Apparently, I am late to the game ...

Current Triumph: I'm feeling really good about 2012 overall. The positives far outweighed the negatives and I'm confident I am going to roll that momentum right into 2013.

Current Goal: Be a better me. Each and every day. And tackle my 2013 To Do List head on.

Current Blessing: Health, happiness and love. I've got all three.

Current Excitement: I'm headed to Colorado in just over three weeks and my 31st birthday is 37 days away!

2012 To Do List Update:

  • 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. I'm rocked this one.
  • Log 4,000 miles, swim, bike and run combined. - As of December 31st, 4083.43 miles completed.
  • Race a 10K with a finish time much faster than your very dated current PR of 53:17. - FAIL. I didn't even run a 10K.
  • 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). - FAIL. Better luck in 2013.
  • Race a Fall Sprint Triathlon. Actually train for the event, unlike in years past. - Rocked that. Finished 3rd Athena!
  • Add strength training to the routine. - CHECK. I am a CrossFit Monster! 
  • Eat like an athlete. Be mindful of the nutritional value of your food. - CHECK. I did pretty well with this, although it's an ongoing challenge. I did however find out what foods don't work with my body and have effectively removed them.
  • Consume no more than 18 desserts from either Shyndigz or Two Sweet Cupcakes (approximately 1 dessert/3 weeks) - As of December 31st, 17 consumed. Can you freaking believe it?
  • Cut out snacking on the girl's leftovers. Just because they don't eat it, doesn't mean you have to. - CHECK. This seems so easy now.
  • Only say yes to the projects you REALLY want to work on. - CHECK
  • Throw away the credit cards. Stop repeating history. - CHECK. No more credit cards or credit card debt for us!
  • 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. Although, I feel like I could probably do this again in 2013.
  • 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