Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Cause and Effect

On Monday, this ...

Led to this ...

And this ...

Which led to $1900 of damage to our SUV, a demolished lamp post, 
and the perfect example of cause and effect.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Eight years ago ..

Eight years ago today, pretty much to the hour, J and I said, "I do," on the shoreline of the Bahamas.

Over the past eight years, we have lived in three different homes.

We've added three beautiful daughters to our family.

And we've faced our share of challenges together. (Including a debate, just this morning, over which stuffed animals should get to keep residence in our home. Be jealous of my life.)

We are a team. We form a unified front, supporting each other no matter how far fetched our dreams may be.

He is my everything. And always will be. 

J, I love you more than I can ever express. Happy Anniversary.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

3TT: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The Good - After what seemed like an eternity (for me, not you), Nuun announced how our Hood to Coast teams would be divided on Tuesday. Each of the 36 runners was placed on a team, (Morning, Noon or Night) and assigned to a leg. Since we were allowed to give our preference of legs, I chose leg 1, leg 3 and leg 4 as my top three. I really wanted to be in van 1 in order to see other half of the course, as I was in van 2 last year.

So, what did I get?

Team Noon: Leg 7. (Click HERE for course maps)

Honestly, it probably wouldn't have been on my top three of van 2. At first I was a little bummed, but all that "woe is me" crap got washed away when I saw the rest of my van. Talk about awesomesauce. I hit the van-mate jackpot and I know we are going to have a blast.

Team Noon: AfterNuun Delight Van 2
Tonia – Racing With Babes: Legs 7, 19, 31
Kim – Nuun Employee: Legs 8, 20, 32
Tiffany – Heavy Medal: Legs 9, 21, 33
Zoe – Nuun Employee: Legs 10, 22, 34
Jessica – Pace of Me: Legs 11, 23, 35
Lindsay – Lindsay On The Go: Legs 12, 24, 36

And van 1 is pretty amazing too ...

Van 1
Kelly – According to Kelly: Legs 1, 13, 25
Laura – Nuun Employee: Legs 2, 14, 26
Laura– Camping Out In America: Legs 3, 15, 27
Jocelyn – Enthusiastic Runner: Legs 4, 16, 28
Sarah – Once Upon a (L)ime: Legs 5, 17, 29
Molly – Mollyberries’ Hodge Podge: Legs 6, 18, 30

Watch out Team Morning and Team Night, it's on. (I'm so not competitive at all ...)

The Bad -  Yesterday afternoon, I ran out to the store to pick up some groceries. On the way home, I was accelerating from a stop when a car cut into my lane and sideswiped me. (I'm totally fine, by the way).

Startled from what had happened, I quickly collected myself and noticed that the other driver paused just ahead of my car and then started driving again. I followed thinking that he or she was pulling out of the way of traffic so that we could exchange information.

When we got to the traffic signal, I got a bad feeling and pulled out my phone to snap a picture of the other car.

Good thing I did, because seconds later, the other car turned and booked it.

A freaking hit and run.

I called the cops and hopefully they can find the person. Either way, pretty much the entire front right side of the car needs to be replaced. So that's awesome!

The Ugly - I have been growing out my hair for the last few months. I have also been bleaching my hair every four weeks for the past few months. Now, after all that abuse, my hair has had enough. It's pretty much stopped holding color, lost all of it's curl, has a waxy feel and horrible texture. I mean, last night I took this picture after J told me I looked like a troll doll ...

Note: There is NO PRODUCT in my hair ...

It was bad. And I was over it.

So, like any rational person, I decided to start from scratch. I told J to get the clippers and to shave my head. We thought it was kind of hilarious. So we videotaped part of it ...

Yeah, that happened. Despite how truly UGLY it looked, I really like the end result.

That's right. The fohawk is back ...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Bliss

this is what happiness looks like ...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Three Things Thursday ...

Eat More, Weigh Less - I am eight day into this crazy nutrition plan that consists of me eating a bajillion calories a day. OK, not a bajillion, but usually between 3000-4000. I haven't been able to hit my target on days I have long workouts, as the amount of food I need becomes astronomical. Take last Saturday as an example.

I completed a four hour brick. My RMR (2534) and exercise (3131) put me at 5665 calories and that doesn't take into account the rest of the stuff I did all day. Without eating a bunch of baked goods, that number is hard to reach. I figure I'd rather come up short on calories than eat a bunch of crap just because I can. With that said, I have been good about getting all my calories on rest days and I've been inching closer on light to moderate training days.

And since I know you're wondering, I have lost weight. Initially, my stomach got crazy distended, but once my digestive system got a handle on all that I have been eating, I dropped 5 lbs. Not too shabby.

Oops. Sorry - This morning, my little cherub of a child, Dilly, was talking to me over breakfast.

Dilly, in all of her cuteness ...

Our conversation went a little something like this ...

Dilly: "Mom, can you take Dizzle to school?"
Me: "No. Your dad is taking her."
Dilly: "Oh, but I like Dad better than I like you."
Me: *frown*
Dilly: "Oops. Sorry. But I do."

Oh, Dilly. Thanks for telling me it like it is. And you should be thankful you're so freaking cute.

Summer Break - Tomorrow is Dizzle's last day of school (Doodle's been done since last month). And I have one goal for this summer break - spend as much time as I can engaged with my children.

With that said, I need to re-prioritize my time. That means, training before they wake up and after they are in bed (even more so than now), focusing on filling their days with experiences and smiles and shutting off the electronics - FOR ALL OF US.

The girls will disconnect from their iPods, computer and television. And I will go on a social media hiatus. I'm turning the alerts on my phone off. I'm not logging on to Twitter and Facebook daily. I'm only going to blog if I have something truly important to say.

It's probably going to be really hard to do, but I kind of can't wait ...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Bubble Gum

A bubble gum flavored apple. Going rate - $1.99
Apparently, we are at the point that we have to trick people into eating 
an apple by making it taste like bubble gum. Last time I checked, an apple that 
tastes like an apple is actually quite delicious ...

Monday, June 11, 2012

a cautionary tale ...

I might be extremely slightly paranoid about riding my bike on the open road.

I don't like throwing in a slew of variables into something that already makes me uneasy. The possibility of poor road conditions, riding downhill and around sharp turns and the presence of vehicles all freak me out. So, unless someone invites me to ride, I ALWAYS choose my trainer over the open road.

There's something about having someone else there that makes the whole process less scary. Like, they are going to keep me safe. Or at least if something happens to me, they can go call for help.

On Friday, my friend D and I decided to tackle the roads for 30 miles. Since D is just as uneasy on her bike as I am, we planned a route with as little traffic as possible.

Five miles on moderately congested roads. Twenty miles (3 loops) through office parks where there were ZERO vehicles since it was after the start of the work day. And then five miles back on those same moderately congested roads.

Once we settled in (and got off the moderately congested roads), the ride was awesome. We looped the office park side-by-side, chatting away. We were feeling strong. And confident.

As we headed back on the five mile stretch to our start point, we separated. I pulled ahead slightly, but always had a feel for how close D was.

With less than two miles left, we hit a traffic light. D caught up and when it turned green, we eased back in to our ride.

About a half a block later, I rode past an entrance for a shopping center. As I did, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, a car coming our direction from the median. I didn't know where D was in relation to me. She could have been right on my tail or a few bike lengths back. I wasn't really sure.

A split second later, I knew exactly where she was, because I heard her scream.

I stopped as fast as I could and unclipped. When I turned around D was on the ground, half way under her bike. A passing runner was helping her out. A car (the one I noticed out of the corner of my eye) was less than two feet away from D, parked across both lanes of traffic.

The driver, who had cut across two lanes of traffic to make a last minute turn into the shopping center, was sticking her head out of the window asking if D was OK. She never saw her. I'm not really sure if she ever saw me. Maybe she was texting. Maybe she looked in her mirror, didn't see any cars and cut across never considering someone might be biking, running or walking by.

Fortunately, D screamed as the car approached (the car windows were down). It probably saved her.

D's OK now. She had a few scrapes and was severely shaken up, but she got back on her bike and finished the ride. For me, the whole situation was scary and surreal. It was like I was watching it happen in slow motion, but could do nothing to change the outcome.

I think both of us rode away asking, "What if?" A million scenarios played in my head. I'm not sure if any of them made me feel any better, but they all reminded me that when you are out on the roads (on bike or on foot) you can never be too careful. You can't assume someone else is paying attention and let your guard down. It's your own responsibility to stay safe.

And when you are driving, focus on DRIVING. Nothing else. It might just save someone's life ...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Three Things Thursday -

Food, Food and More Food - After I posted yesterday about my RMR, pretty much everyone asked me how I was going to eat 3000-4000 QUALITY calories per day. And the answer is ...

I don't know.

It would be super easy to head to Shyndigz and have a jumbo sized piece of cake everyday. Easy, but wrong. Plus, we put a self-imposed ban on that place until Labor Day.

But, in all seriousness, I don't really know what I am going to eat. Yesterday, I only made it to 2511 calories and could not have eaten another bite. Unfortunately, my 80 minute bike and 90 minute yoga session (not to mention my normal daily activity) boosted my caloric needs by about 1300. Yeah, so day one might have been a fail.

I'm sure your heart is breaking for the girl who can eat whatever the f#ck she wants.

Anyway, I'm know that avocados will become a daily staple and that I'll eat a full serving (or two) of nuts compared to the half serving I usually have. But after that, I am kind of stumped. The nutritionist recommended some interesting options for balancing my nutrients, but they are kind of counter-intuitive to endurance training, so I am not sure how I feel about them. I'm going to give them a go and will "review" them after a few weeks along with a "log" of what I am eating.

In the meantime, if you have any helpful hints, feel free to email me with them.

P90X - Ever since Ironman 70.3 Texas, I have been trying to incorporate more strength training into my routine. I have been doing a free weights circuit at home two to three times per week and I can definitely tell the difference that it is making. My shoulders, especially the reconstructed one, are much stronger and my swim times are evident of that.

Since things were going well, I had no intention of changing anything. But last week, my sister, Beans, mentioned that a co-worker of hers wanted to try P90X and that she was also kind of interested in learning about it.

I took that to mean that she wanted to start it IMMEDIATELY.

And that's what we did. On Monday, Beans, J and I started P90X. And it's beating the heck out of us. When I tried to get out of bed this morning to run, I could barely move. My hips and butt were on fire. So, I took an unscheduled rest day. Oops.

Nuun Winners - It occurred to me this morning that I never posted my Nuun Giveaway winners. So without further adieu, here they are. There were 75 entries and thanks to, the lucky numbers were ...

#23 - Hot Mama @ Hot Confidence


#37 Christine Ashby @ Swimmer Turned Triathlete

Congrats ladies! Please email me at racingwithbabes (at) yahoo (dot) com with your shipping address to claim your prize.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

RMR Results ...

It's no secret that I have battled with my weight, now and in the past.

I do not pretend that I don't care, because in the end, when it comes to endurance sports and overall health, weight matters. It makes a true, measurable difference.

I do not hide the fact that I have gained 8-10 pounds since December, despite constant calorie monitoring and a vigorous training schedule. Furthermore, I do not hide how much this bothers me. Not for vanity, but rather from a performance standpoint.

And I know that to others I seem fit and my body may be "enviable", but there is no reason anyone should gain 10 pounds in 6 months when they ACTIVELY TRYING NOT TO. It just doesn't make sense.

I felt as if I had hit a dead end. I was eating the amount of calories I should have been based on all of those calculations for determining your metabolic rate. I was adding in for my workouts. And subtracting out 500 calories per day to create a deficit. I worked out more. I worked out less. I tweaked the numbers up slightly and then back down. Nothing worked.

I knew I needed help.

So, based on the recommendation of my friend, Sally, I set up an appointment to have my RMR (resting metabolic rate) tested.

This test, which costs $100 dollars and includes a meeting with a nutritionist, would tell me how many calories my body burns at rest. From there, it calculates how many calories you need based on your activity level plus 30 minutes of exercise each day (obviously, you get to increase or decrease your caloric intake based on your training schedule). In addition, it gives you caloric ranges for maintenance and weight loss.

I was convinced that I was going to be told that my metabolism is wicked slow and that I was severely overeating, thus gaining weight. To me, it seemed like the only logical outcome.

Yesterday was my test day. After four hours of fasting and relative inactivity (both key to getting accurate results), I headed to the appointment at Commonwealth Sports Medicine. Once there, I was asked a few basic questions.

Age: 30
Height: 5' 8 1/2"
Weight: 158
Goal Weight: 149

Then, my nose was clamped shut and I was told to breathe into a long tube attached to a machine. For 15 minutes. Upon completion, my results were printed. And here's what they said ...

Wait. Can't see that? Let's try again ...

Yeah, that's right my RMR is 2534. As in, if I stayed in bed all day and did nothing, I could still eat 2534 calories. And based on my lifestyle and 30 minutes of cardio (like I ever do just 30 minutes of cardio), I should be eating 3609 to MAINTAIN MY WEIGHT. (Note: based on these results, my metabolism is 67% faster than a typical person of similar sex, age, height and weight)

That's pure insanity.

Do you know how much I have been eating?

Somewhere between 1500-1800 on rest days. And 2200-2800 every other day. Even on days when I workout for 3+ hours, I never have more than 3000 calories.

Which means, I have been severely UNDER-EATING.

My body is holding on to it's weight, because I'm not giving it enough fuel.

In addition to these results, I had my body fat percentage tested. It came in at 24%, which is EXACTLY what my home scale has be telling me. So, that means I currently carry around 37.92 pounds of fat. To get to my goal weight and goal body fat percentage of 149 and 20%, I need to lose 8.12 pounds of fat. Hopefully, with the help of the new eating guidelines placed in front of me, I can make this happen.

Have you ever had this or a similar test done? What did you think of the results?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

when fast is slow ...

This morning I ran with the Posse.

It's not something that happens a lot anymore. After the Richmond Marathon last November, we kind of went our separate ways. To people on the outside, it probably looked like we broke up. But, it was nothing like that.

It was just a matter of conflicting training plans.

Post-marathon, I embraced my inner triathlete and began Half Ironman training. Everyone else, didn't. Instead, they took it easy (well, easier) for a few weeks and then honed their speed for both a spring half marathon and a 10K.

Their 10K was the day before my Half Ironman. At that point, we could have gone back to normal. Could have. But didn't.

70.3 training showed me that I am really more of a triathlete than a runner. I don't mind spending hours upon hours on my bike trainer. I could swim all day. And while I still love to run, especially with the posse, but I don't want to change up my training plan just to make that happen.

*cue stubborn whining*

Plus, (this is probably more of the reason than anything else) they have all gotten wicked fast. Like "I drank rocket fuel for breakfast" fast. And it's kind of bruising my ego.

I know I shouldn't care. I know that we are focusing on different things right now (me - triathlon, them - a fall marathon). And I know that they don't mind if I crawl back to our cars 10 minutes behind them. They are not like that.

When we met for a six mile run this morning, I was fully prepared to be at the back of the pack. In fact, when we started off at a conservative 10:00 pace, I joked that I needed someone to hold them all back so that I could last until the end of the run. I joked. But, I wasn't kidding.

At some point in the second mile, the warm up ended and I fell to the back. I was hauling tail and I still fell to the back. I started to doubt whether or not I could keep up.

mile 2: 8:40
mile 3: 8:29
mile 4: 8:32
mile 5: 8:16

Once my watch beeped at five miles, I knew I'd survive. And I even remembered thinking, "This actually feels pretty comfortable. Challenging, but comfortable."

We were running a 7:30 pace. That last mile was at an 8:02 average pace.

When we got back to the cars, I was the last to arrive. Somehow, my 8:40 average made me the slowest person out there. I can remember a time in the not too distant past that I would have killed for that kind of speed. And now, it made me feel slow.

I guess it's really all about perspective, isn't it?

Friday, June 1, 2012

May Rewind ...

Run Miles Ran: 103.75 miles (yearly high)

Bike Miles Rode: 455.2 miles (lifetime high)

Swim Meters Completed: 19450 meters or 12.09 miles (lifetime high)

Rest Days Taken: 3

Highest Run Mileage Week: 5/1-5/6: 27 miles

Highest Bike Mileage Week: 5/1-5/6: 108.6 miles

Highest Swim Volume Week: 5/7-5/13: 6350 meters

Long Runs Completed (10+ miles): 3

Current Book: I'm about half way through Train Like A Mother. And it's awesome ...

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Two words - Vampire Diaries. We finished the first two seasons and are now searching far and wide for bootleg copies of the third season. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to make it to the August DVD release date.

Current Colors: Turquoise and Pink 

Current Drink: I'm currently obsessed with hot tea with Splenda. Who cares that it's 90 degrees outside and I just finished a workout ...

Current Song: Drive By - Train

Current Triumph: I'm training like a rock star. Unfortunately, I don't have any races on my schedule ...

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. I don't take anything for granted. Not even for a second.

Current Excitement: ZOOMA Annapolis is this weekend and I can't wait to meet up with some of my favorite run bloggers. I just upgraded my bike trainer. I became an aunt last month. And I have a monster brick scheduled for Sunday. Things are all kinds of good.

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 crushing this one.
  • Log 4,000 miles, swim, bike and run combined. - As of June 1, 2264.33 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. 17 strength sessions in the last two months.
  • 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 June 1, 14 desserts consumed. I need to just face the facts with this one.
  • Cut out snacking on the girl's leftovers. Just because they don't eat it, doesn't mean you have to. - CHECK
  • 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