Wednesday, July 24, 2013

living life vs. blogging life ...

When I started blogging five years ago, I did it for myself, I did it for my kids, and I did it to have a way to look back at all the little things I am likely to forget over the years.

I have never written for anyone but myself and my girls. When I say "you" in a post, the "you" I envision is the adult version of my children. I hope that they can go back and read all of my ramblings and have a better appreciation of who I am and why I've made the choices I have. And with the exception of, the now very infrequent, giveaways, my writing is merely a reflection of who I am and a snapshot of the happenings of our days.

Now don't get me wrong, all the perks that have come from writing this blog have been fantastic. The friendships and partnerships are rewarding and the experiences have been life changing. But, none of that has been or ever will be more important than why I started writing. And none of that has ever or will ever affect my "voice".

I do not write for money.
I do not write for product.
I do not write so that others can guest post.
For every brand I rave about, there were a 100 that I never even considered mentioning.
This is not a forum. My views are my views and they are the only ones you'll ever see here.

It is true that over the years the content here has evolved. When I started writing, I focused on my training and the antics of my children. At times, I said "NEVER" and have had to eat my words (as in I'll never do another marathon or I'll never understand why people race longer than a sprint triathlon).

All these years later, my training has become less of a focus. Yes, I mention it here and there and it is a HUGE part of our lives, but I no longer need to obsess over it in my writing. I know myself as an athlete, I know what I can do, and I don't need to rehash every detail. It's just not that important to me anymore.

Then there are my children. Some of my favorite posts are about them, whether it be recaps of their hilarious outtakes or words of wisdom I wish to pass on to them. But as they grow older, it has become increasingly challenging to find a balance of what to share and what to hold back. They are aware I post about them and they are equally aware that it may be embarrassing. Someday, they are going to care enough that I have to stop talking about them all together.

And then there is the fact that now that we are out of the toddler years, we are doing a lot more living life and I have less time to blog life. This summer is the perfect example of this. Since school has been out, we've gone to New Jersey and Baltimore and are leaving in two days for Georgia.

We have taken swim lessons in the mornings and hung out with our friends poolside in the afternoons.

There has been drama and laughter ...

We've studied and read and crafted our way through our days.

Once you add in my training, there isn't a lot of time left to rehash all of the epic moments that are sprinkled through our days. So, it's not that I don't have things to say or stories to tell. It's just no longer that important for me to share every little detail of our lives. I would much rather be out living my days than writing about them. Maybe in the future that will change, but for right now, blogging is taking a backseat to life. And I am perfectly okay with that.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

best intentions ...

Most of the time, I train alone.

Most of the time, I train indoors.

Most of the time, I follow my plan to the T.

Except when I don't ...

Being Type-A and extremely OCD, I thrive on having a plan. I want to know exactly what to do and exactly when to do it. I'm a rule follower and I don't like quitting, so I usually find a way to get everything done.

But, the thing about being Type-A is that I always want to be perfect. Or maybe better than perfect. When I approach my training, I tend to find a plan that seems realistic for my ability level and lifestyle. And then I add mileage and extra workouts. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

Because if some is good than more is better. 

Um, no, TMB. More is not better.

I know this, but I still add those workouts. I sit there thinking, "I can handle more than this," rather than just relishing in the fact that the training load is manageable. And the thing is, for a week or two, these extra workouts are no big deal. I fit them in and I feel fine.

But, then life gets in the way. I have three kids who need constant supervision and a husband who travels pretty much every week. I have to squeeze things in around play dates and lessons and a million other responsibilities.

And do you know what happens every single time?

I drop all those extra workouts that I thought I needed. Even when there isn't all that much going on, I still end up dropping them. It never escapes my mind that they aren't really necessary, that the plan doesn't really call for them and that no one is going to push me to do them.

Do I ever skip the workouts that were originally on the plan? Nope. Not ever. But week after week, my modifications get thrown out the window.

Most of the time, I'm not really sure why I waste my time crafting the workouts in the first place. Or why I even care that I skip them. But, then I realize that those "extra" workouts allow me to feel like my plan has wiggle room and flexibility. They remind me that sometimes it's OK to not be a slave to the plan and that even with the best intentions, life gets in the way. And that's perfectly fine.

Friday, July 12, 2013

10 tidbits of randomness ...

1. I hate the YMCA in the Summer. Since J is traveling constantly, I can't get up at 5 a.m. to get my swims in. Instead, I have to wait until Child Watch opens. During the school year, Child Watch is a lifesaver. But, in the summer, it totally messes with my schedule. The 8 a.m. opening forces my swim to coincide with a multitude of other activities in the pool. Between water aerobics, swim lessons and Summer camp, I find myself getting really cozy with my fellow lap swimmers in the single lane left open in the pool. I just can't understand why the Y can't follow the schedule it developed for lap swimming. There are always supposed to be two lap lanes, yet somehow every time I swim after 8 a.m. there is only one. You make the stupid rules, just follow them.

2. Speaking of lap lanes, they are designed for CONTINOUS ENDURANCE SWIMMING. Not for floating with a noodle, for following along with the water aerobics class or for walking. That's what open swim is for. Check the schedule and come at the correct time.

3. I'm convinced there is nothing more difficult in the world than putting on a sports bra when you have just gotten out of the pool. However, putting on bike shorts after swimming is probably a close second.

4. My training is going remarkable well. I am not sure if it's the fact that I am controlling my blood sugar quite well or if it's my "just get to the finish line" training plan, but I am feeling strong and recovering quickly.

5. The girls and I went to the dentist on Tuesday and as usual, I have issues. Although I have no apparent cavities, I am packing food between two fillings causing me to floss about 287 times a day. Since this will eventually lead to a problem, I have to go have those filling replaced. It's epic.

6. Doodle also had quite an eventful visit. She walked in for a cleaning and left with two missing teeth. Apparently the "shark teeth" that were growing behind her baby teeth had forced them into a position where they were unable to fall out on their own. So, rather than wait and possibly damage the shark teeth, a.k.a. adult teeth, she had them pulled out.

She was such a trooper and she made bank with the tooth fairy.

7. We are heading to Hawaii in 99 days. Not that I'm counting.

8. I'm 99.9% sure that we will not be homeschooling the girls next year. They have been protesting since the beginning of June, so we have been doing a test run ever since. Dizzle is in full on freak out mode. (Doodle is better than Dizzle, but still ...) Most of our lessons end in tears and hyperventilating. I just can't do that to her. I'm not going to subject her to mental trauma just because she's crazy bored at school. Instead, J and I are just going to supplement her learning when she's not at school. But, this little experiment, however brief, has taught me some things. First of all, Dizzle is just as, if not more, stubborn than I am. That does not make for a good learning environment. Second, I am so black and white with things that I don't understand how people can get stuck in the gray for so long. This adds an enormous amount of tension in our lessons. And lastly, all this work my kids have done (and will continue to do) is going to put them even further ahead, which may compound the problem we already had.

9. Summer vacation is like 40% over. I'm totally bummed about this.

10. Yesterday, Dizzle asked me what "Lost time is never found" means. I told her that it meant that you only get one chance to live every moment to the fullest and if you waste your time getting caught up in drama and things that don't matter to you, it's like losing that time and you can never get it back. And although it reminded me to take stock and evaluate how I'm living my life, she just turned to me and said, "So, it's kind of how I'll never get the time I spent asking you this back? Oh man." Exactly, glad to have enlightened you, Dizzle.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

cleaning out my closet ...

On Saturday night, J and I went out for a belated anniversary dinner. Since we don't often get the opportunity to go anywhere without the girls, I decided to actually put some effort into my appearance. So much so, that when I came downstairs, Dizzle told J that he "better put on a tuxedo."

And although it looked like I really thought about my outfit, that wasn't the case. I didn't even have a choice since there one only one dress in my closet that I could fit into, thus making it the obvious winner.
We clean up quite nicely ...
but, nothing can change our personalities ...
This has been happening a lot to me lately. I go to put something on to find out that it fit me 20 pounds ago. And it breaks me down. Like, I pout. And get defensive. And yell at the people I love.

I know logically that it shouldn't. I know for a fact that the vast majority (over 15 pounds) of that weight is newly gained muscle mass. But there is something about standing in a closet with clothes that are two sizes too small that make you want to cry, that can make you feel like you're failing and that can make you believe that all the effort isn't worth it.

I've been holding on to all of these items hoping that one morning I am going to wake up and they are all going to fit again. And as much as I am letting the numbers on the scale and the tags mess with my head, I know deep down that I don't really want to fit the picture in my head (or the clothes in my closet) if that means I lose my muscle and the strength that comes with them. Also, I'm really not okay with having to discipline myself even more than I already do just to have a body that is impossible for me to maintain.

So, the morning after our date, I tried on every piece of clothing that I own. Then I got rid of anything and everything that didn't fit me perfectly. If it made me feel even slightly self conscious, I ditched it. And the "trash" pile was HUGE. So huge that J gave me this look like I was crazy and then proceeded to tell me that I'll fit back into them one day, which of course, was an epic mistake since I was already feeling sensitive about the fact that I couldn't put on half of my clothing. I may have yelled in response. (Sorry J.)

Once I was done, I felt so much better. The whole process made me realize that size does matter, just not in the way I thought. I don't need to be a size 4 or 6 or 000 (did you know that's a real thing?) to feel good about myself and my body (honestly, I had issues then too), but I do need to embrace the size that I am if I am ever going to be content with the body I have, big or small.

Monday, July 1, 2013

June Rewind ...

Miles Run: 45.22. Pretty much the same as last month, but I am feeling much stronger than before.

Bike Miles Rode: 158.3 miles.
Swim Meters Completed: 22750 meters or 14.1 miles. I'm kind of in love with the swim right now.
Rest Days Taken: 9.
Highest Run Mileage Week: 6/24-6/30: 16.32 miles
Highest Bike Mileage Week: 6/17-6/23: 43.4 miles 
Highest Swim Volume Week: 6/10-6/16: 6200 meters or 3.85 miles
Long Runs Completed (1 hr+ miles): 3.
Current Book: Right now, I am reading The Maze Runner by Dashner. But I also finished a few other books in May. (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.) 
  • Big Fat Manifesto by Vaught
  • Everlost by Shusterman
  • Hawaii by Fodor
  • Passion by Kate
  • Shatter Me by Mafi
  • Unravel Me by Mafi
  • Warm Bodies by Marion
  • Uglies by Westerfeld
  • Pretties by Westerfeld
  • Specials by Westerfeld
  • Everwild by Shusterman
Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Apparently, reading. J says I'm obsessed.
Current Colors: Navy and White.
Current Drink: Coconut water. It's totally gross but I am trying to replenish my electrolytes.
Current Song: Radioactive - Imagine Dragons
Current Triumph: Despite a rough couple of months of training, I finished Rev3 Williamsburg Olympic. With a pretty solid swim and bike, might I add.
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 am feeling normal again. After the past year and a half of feeling crappy all the time, this is huge.
2013 To Do List:
  • 140.6. That is all. - Yeah, not going to happen this year.
  • Make time for strength training. Don't let training loads eliminate strength workouts completely. And stick to strength training in a group, it keeps you accountable. - Getting back to this.
  • Switch to time-based/HR training. Despite my knowledge of training paces, I have a hard time sticking to them. I'm hoping this will help me train more effectively. - I'm kind of over the HR aspect of this. Summer temps alone make this suck. 
  • Log 4,500 cumulative run, bike and swim miles. Up 485 from 2012. - As of July 1, 1568.49 miles logged. Not looking good at the mid-year point.
  • Race a 10K with a finish time much faster than your very dated current PR of 53:17. I never managed to register for a 10K in 2012 and I'm not sure where it will fit in this year, but it's on my radar. - No progress on this one.
  • Set a new PR in the Half Marathon, currently 1:57:06. I totally blew this one in 2012 and will likely only have one good shot at it in 2013.- Fail. Epic fail.
  • Run a 5K with Dizzle and Doodle, even if that means tricking them into it. - The kids have been running quite a bit recently. Probably going to aim for the fall.
  • Eat like a gluten-free athlete. After struggling with health issues much of 2012, removing the gluten has been key in alleviating the symptoms. Don't be swayed by the lure of wheat. Or cake.- On point, like usual.
  • Find the race day (and training) nutrition plan that works for me.- Eventually ...
  • Consume no more than 18 desserts from Shyndigz. This number worked well in 2012 and helped me cut back on my serious cake addiction. Plus, their gluten-free menu is limited, so I shouldn't be tempted as often. - As of July 1st, 11 desserts consumed. Since all the birthdays have been celebrated in my house, this should slow a bit.
  • Drink at least 100oz of water per day.- Oh, heck yeah!
  • Only say yes to the projects you REALLY want to work on. An honest no is much better than a halfhearted yes. - Check.
  • Stick to our budget. We've lived credit card (and credit card debt) free for five months. No reason to go back now. - Double Check.
  • Ignore your impulses. Take time to process the true value of the things you are filling your space/life with. - Yes and no. Lots of pondering this one recently ...
  • Figure out what to do with my hair. Keep the mohawk or grow it out. I'm taking opinions on this one.- I caved and cut my hair. I have no willpower when it comes to growing it out, BUT I am attempting it again.
  • Continue to balance family life, training and now, work.- Check.
  • Prioritize and be a good example for the people in your life. - Like quadruple 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. No one should have to sacrifice so that someone else can reach their goal. If a balance can't be found, it's not worth pursuing.- I would never waiver on this one!