Wednesday, July 18, 2012

does it really matter?

During high school, I had a bit of a reputation for being "scary." When I walked from class to class, people got out of my way. I didn't smile. Football players were known to shutter as I passed.

Even as an adult, I've been told before that I can come across as cold, harsh and rigid. I've been told that my view on life can be off-putting. And I've been told that others would want to get on my "bad side."

All of these things make me laugh.

Truth be told, once you get to know me, I am nothing like that. But, I will admit that I do my best to give that first impression. I guess I figure if you can get past the worst parts of my personality, then you are worth investing time in. I don't waste time with shallow friendships. They aren't worth it to me. I would rather focus my energy and attention on the people who are truly important. There is a lot less drama that way.

As I have grown, I have begun to take this same approach to all aspects of my life. I try to focus on what's important, the things that are going to have a true and lasting effect on me and my family and I try to let everything else just be.

I've learned that stressing and complaining about something does not do anything to help your situation. If anything, it only makes it more unbearable.
  • Everything in your house breaks in the same week? Either fix it or don't. Complaining won't fix anything.
  • You have no car for three weeks because the body shop is holding it hostage? Either deal with it or lay into them to get them moving. Having a freak out because they are not working on "your schedule" does nothing but raise your blood pressure.
  • The kids are so off the wall that you might actually punch a wall? Find a way to engage them, embrace the chaos or get some earplugs and ignore it. Yelling at them to "quit it", only creates more noise and disruption, while getting you worked up into a frenzy.
  • Can't stand where you are right now, in this very moment? Then change it. Don't expect someone to do it for you. Copping an attitude will do nothing but bring you, and everyone around you, down.
It's your life. Live it how you want.

But when you've had enough, step back and ask yourself, "Does it really matter? Is anyone dying, bleeding or about to lose a limb? Is this something we can fix?"

Then once you've assessed the situation, look to yourself and ask, "Is my temper tantrum productive?"

Chances are, it's not. And letting it go, might just change your whole perspective ...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Three Things Thursday ...

Epic Blood - To go along with my RMR test last month, I had the most in depth blood work done. On Tuesday, I finally had my follow up appointment to go over the results. And the verdict is in ...

I have epic blood. Like, "my blood work results will kick your blood work results' a**" epicness. Sorry. It's true. (I may have challenged J to a "blood battle")

My cholesterol levels are awesome. (Total - 149, LDL - 48, HDL - 73, Triglycerides - 53. I knew you were wondering.) I have no signs of inflamation/oxidation. My glucose and insulin levels are rock star. My kidneys and liver know how to operate and my electrolytes are on point (Thanks Nuun!)

However, the tests showed that I am a carrier for Factor V Leiden (which increases my risk for venous thromboembolism, blood clots that form in the vein) and that I do not effectively metabolize folic acid. Also, I have a few hormone levels that while still in the normal range, are on the low side. Super interesting stuff.

And while I learned lots of new things about how my body is functioning, I was not at all surprised by two results.

I have crazy low levels of both Vitamin D and Iron, despite heavy supplementation over the last year.

In fact, all of the supplements barely raised my levels from the last time I had blood work done, which makes me think that I also have difficulty effectively metabolizing those nutrients. At this point, I'm not really sure how to rectify this absorption issue.

Epic Fit - Also on Tuesday, I had a professional bike fit on TigerBlood. After nearly two hours, lots of pictures, videos and lasers and numerous tweaks, it's like my bike was made especially for me. It's amazing. Definitely money well spent.

Dinnertime Crazies - I've been trying to focus on spending quality time with the girls while they are out of school. Part of this includes having conversations around the dinner table.

Day in and day out, I try to keep things civilized. It never works. Every single day ends up like this ...

Yes, I constantly question their sanity.

Monday, July 9, 2012

an accidental 70.3 ...

I'm completely and utterly kind of a type A personality.

I usually plan my race schedule a year in advance. Mostly because I like to plan accordingly, but also because I am cheap.

So, last December, in an effort to keep my OCD (and bank account) in check, I drew up a list of triathlons that I was interested in registering for. Then, I gave the list, which consisted of race names and dates, to J and I told him to pick one.

His choice: Patriots Sprint Triathlon on September 9th.

I was happy with this selection. The timing and distance was right and I figured I might be able to convince a friend or two to race with me.

As the months passed, I realized that after Ironman 70.3 Texas, I wasn't going to cut back my training significantly. I also realized that I wasn't going to be able to convince my friends to join me at Patriots. Instead, a few of them were going to race the Patriots Half on September 8th, as their 70.3 debut.

Since I was loosely following a 70.3 plan anyway, I decided to email the race director to see if it was possible to transfer my registration to the 70.3. I figured if they said yes, I would get to train and race with my friends and if they said no, then nothing would change and I would go cheer them all on.

Approximately five seconds after I sent my email, I found this on the race website:

50% of your entry fee will be refunded until August 24, 2012 or until the event has filled. No refunds will be issued for any reason after August 24, 2012. Event entries are not transferable between persons, events or years. NO EXCEPTIONS will be made to the stated refund policy. By registering for this event you agree to these refund terms. To request a refund you must complete the refund request form using the link below BEFORE the posted refund deadline.

I took that statement and the lack of response from the race director to mean that there was NO WAY I was going to get to switch races. 

Like I said, no big deal. 

Then, yesterday, I was talking to G, who is racing the 70.3. She told me I should work on my speed and go crush the Athena division. Not sure that I had actually registered for the Athena division, I checked out the participant list on the PATRIOTS SPRINT page. 

I scrolled through the names.

And there it was ... nothing. My name was missing.

Having a minor freak out, I checked the PATRIOTS HALF page thinking maybe the link I clicked on the first time misdirected me to the wrong participant list. And then I saw it.

I was registered for the 70.3.

Apparently, the race director granted my transfer AND FAILED TO NOTIFY ME.

Had I not checked, I would have shown up for the wrong race. On the wrong day. Guess it was a good thing I never cut back my training ...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Three Things Thursday ...

What are you training for?: It's no secret that Ironman 70.3 Texas was my "A" race for the year. It was awesome and I loved every painful second of it. The problem, however, with having your "A" race in April is that you still have nine months of the year left wide open.

I knew immediately after that race that it wouldn't be my last long distance triathlon. I had caught the bug. I wanted to register for races left and right, but unfortunately my bank account and triathlon weren't seeing eye-to-eye. 

Triathlon is freaking expensive. Like "there goes your dream vacation" expensive. So, rather than be hasty, I promised J that I would register for any more races this year. I would just stick to the one sprint triathlon I had already registered for and maybe, I'd sign up for either the Richmond Half Marathon or 8K.

And that's what I did. For the remainder of 2012, my only races are Hood to Coast (with Nuun), the Patriots Sprint Triathon and the HCA VA 8K.

I should be excited by this. It's like a training reprieve. No need for monster workouts. No need to wake up at 4 a.m. to ensure everything gets done. It's awesome.

Except that it's not.

In actuality, I don't like training reprieves. And in complete honesty, I have been following a beginner 70.3 plan to train for my sprint. I figure if nothing else, I'll be super prepared.

It was the 4th?: I am a horrible mother.

I am the kind of mother who puts her children to bed at 6:30 EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. It doesn't matter if it is their birthday, New Year's Eve or even the Fourth of July. If it's 6:30, it's bedtime. The only time we ignore this rule is if we are in a situation which precludes bedtime from happening. Those situations are very rare.

So, yesterday, while everyone else was out celebrating the 4th, we had a low-key day. We stayed in bed until after 8 (yes, that's late for us), hung out and ended our day with a family feast. At 6:30, the girls went to bed. No fireworks. No parades. Nothing. Honestly, I'm not even sure that they knew that it was the 4th of July. And I am 100% sure that they have zero clue to what they are missing out on. But, just think of how excited they will be in a few years when I let them in on the secret ...

I'm hungry: My kids eat all the time. They are used to small meals and big (OK, numerous) snacks. They eat so much throughout the day that by the time dinner is served, they barely touch it. Suddenly, they no longer want to eat.

The excuse are awesome too.

"My tummy hurts."
"I don't like chicken and beans and salad, even though I eat them pretty much every day."
"I only like these things when they aren't mixed together."
"I hate pork. So what if it was my favorite food last week?"
"I did eat some. See?" *moves fork around plate*
"I'm allergic."
"I'm too tired to eat."
"If I eat too much I'll get sick."
"I'm full. Can I have dessert?"

Talk about frustrating. It's not like I prepare them toxic waste for dinner. Every single night, they get a home cooked meal, made from scratch. Nothing comes from a box. Nothing is heated up from a can. This is freaking good food I am making them. Yet, they scoff.

At my wits end, I instituted a new policy - Time regimented eating.

  • Three meals and a snack at set intervals. 
  • You can eat as much or as little as you would like during these times, but you are not eating again until your next meal and you are ALWAYS going to eat at the table (we find food crumbs EVERYWHERE).
  • If you are truly hungry between meals, then you can have any fruit or vegetable that you'd like. But you have to sit at the table to eat it. If that doesn't work for you, you can wait until your next meal.
Some may call this mean, I call it awesomesauce.

Since implementing this policy, the girls have quit asking for food constantly. They really don't want to snack throughout the day if that means they have to sit at the table. And shockingly, they devour their meals and often ask for seconds. Amazing, I know.

Monday, July 2, 2012

June Rewind ...

Run Miles Ran: 90.25 miles

Bike Miles Rode: 309.8 miles

Swim Meters Completed: 15700 or 9.75 miles

Rest Days Taken: 6

Highest Run Mileage Week: 6/18-6/24: 28 miles

Highest Bike Mileage Week: 6/4-6/10: 107.7 miles

Highest Swim Volume Week: 6/18-6/24: 6100 meters

Long Runs Completed (10+ miles): 2

Current Book: I was a reading machine this month. Something about finally getting a library card at the age of 30 will do that to a person. Also, the cutback in computer time freed me up to spend my free time elsewhere. I read and loved all of these books ...
  • Bossypants, Tina Fey
  • You Are an Ironman, Jacques Steinberg
  • Fit2Fat2Fit, Drew Manning
  • Metabolic Efficiency Training, Bob Seebohar
  • The Schwarzbein Principle, Diana Schwarzbein
Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Figs + Mascarpone = Heaven

Current Colors: Orange 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: 50 Ways to Say Goodbye - Train

Current Triumph: I'm training like a rock star. And eating like an athlete. 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: We are headed to Disney in 24 days. Yup, I am a five year old trapped in a 30 year old body ...

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 July 2, 2674.15 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. 31 strength sessions in the last three 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 July 2, 15 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