Monday, September 30, 2013

I am not your servant, I am your teacher ...

Why yes, that is my child with the unbrushed hair and the untied shoes. Thanks for noticing. I'm quite proud of how I sent her to school this morning, although I know that she is less than thrilled.

Sure, she was crying when she walked out the door. But, at least she walked out the door before her father pulled out of the driveway. Because, if I had been driving, that wouldn't have been the case. I've left without her before. And I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

For some reason, she seems to think that it is my responsibility to make sure she is ready for school in the morning. She often expects me to pack her lunch (I make the food. I refuse to assemble the actual lunchbox), pack her bag and make sure she has everything she needs for the day. Funny. I don't remember that being part of the job description.

Diz, as far as I can recall, I am here to protect you. To love you. To raise you with values and an appreciation for the world around you. To give you a place to live and food to eat. After that, I'm pretty sure everything else is optional.

What? You think that's unfair? You think that I am out to get you because I refuse to baby you day in and day out?

That my dear, is where you are wrong.

I am not being mean.

I am not being unfair.

I do not wake each day plotting against you.

And I most definitely do not "do this to you EVERYDAY!," like you most eloquently said this morning as you struggled to get out the door. No my dear, you do that to yourself. You and you alone.

You are old enough to wake up each and every morning without me yelling at you. Consider yourself lucky that I check back to make sure you haven't fallen back asleep.

You are old enough to find an outfit to wear each and subsequently get yourself dressed each and every day. Consider yourself lucky that I do not yet require you to wash or purchase all of those outfits. It's coming. Be warned.

You are old enough to make yourself a healthy breakfast and to eat that breakfast in time to leave. Consider yourself lucky that you have food to eat. Some children aren't as fortunate.

You are old enough to pack your backpack, your lunchbox and whatever else there is to pack before heading out the door. It's not my job to know where all of your stuff is. Consider yourself lucky that your mom is OCD enough to have a strong grasp on where things are. Otherwise, your mornings would be even more stress inducing.

You are old enough to brush and style your hair. Consider yourself lucky that I don't just shave your head to save us all the drama you dish out each morning. Trust me, it would be easier for all of us.

You are old enough to tie your shoes and clean your glasses. Consider yourself lucky that I am willing to give you reminders to do both. I am not required to do so.

It is not my job to do any of these things. I am your mother. Not your servant. I love you endlessly, but I do not strive to make you soft, to convince you that you will always be waited upon, or to give you a false impression on what lies ahead for you when you leave our home. I will not do you that disservice.

The world is full of responsibilities. There are already many of which you are capable. And I expect, no demand, that you live up to those responsibilities. You need to learn to manage your time. You need to learn to face the consequences of forgetting to complete a task or showing up late. I will not always be there to protect you. These lessons I am teaching you now will help you for a lifetime. I'm not trying to be mean. I am trying to show you how the world works. And sometimes, the real world sucks.

So, the next time you are crying because you didn't give yourself enough time to get completely ready for school, remember that you did it to yourself. You didn't wake up early enough or you didn't pay attention to the clock. Not me. Not your father. And take stock in the fact that I will send you out the door with messy hair, untied shoes and your homework still on the table, each and every time.

Diz, that is my job -  to teach you about consequences, not to do everything for you. Because I love you enough to know that consequences are exactly what you need.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

these kids ...

These kids.
They can be rude.
And loud.
And impatient.
They fight.
They make messes.
They intentionally disobey.
Some days, I want to punch them.
Some days, they drive me bonkers.
Some days, I can not believe how annoying they can be.
But then I get a reminder.
A reminder of how lucky we are.
A reminder that not everyone is as blessed as we may be.
A reminder that time is fleeting and we should appreciate every second.
So, instead of freaking out on them, I apologize.
For overreacting.
For letting my emotions get the best of me.
For not setting a good example of how they should behave.
And then, I hug them.
And kiss them.
And remind them that I am a safe place that will always be there for them.
These kids.
They are my everything.

Monday, September 23, 2013

not the best mommy song ...

Last night, Dilly got in trouble for teasing, and subsequently, assaulting her oldest sister. As punishment, I sent her to bed early. Not by an hour or even half. By a mere 15 minutes. Barely any time at all.

However, she didn't see it that way.

For every second of those 15 minutes, she screamed. And cried. And pleaded. To no avail, mind you.

When the clock hit 6:30 and I went upstairs to tell her sisters that it was bedtime, Dilly was still flailing on her bedroom floor. Without looking at her, I told her to go to the bathroom and then get in bed. Through her tears, she muttered something about life being unfair.

A few minutes later, I noticed that she was still in the bathroom. When I got closer, Dilly was talking to herself. Hearing what she was saying to her reflection, I called J over. Within moments, we (well at least, I) were crying from laughter. Dilly's monologue, which had taken a singing tone, was going on something like this.

This is so unfair.
My mommy is not the best mommy,
'Cause she didn't let me snuggle with my Daddy-Do.
She is not the best mommy today.

It went on after that, much to the same note. Basically, I am horrible. She did nothing wrong. And I will be forever blamed.

If it wasn't so freaking cute, I might have been hurt. But, don't worry, I got my revenge. I was kneeling at the door when she finally opened it. The look on her face said that she knew I had heard every last word out of her mouth. It was awesome. Even if it wasn't my finest parenting moment ...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Three Things Thursday ...

Strength - Over the summer, I let my strength training slide. With the kids at home full time, it was hard enough to get in all my training for Rev3 Cedar Point HalfRev, let alone add lifting into the mix. But, now that I have begun off-season training, I decided it was time to return to Beast Mode.

The funny thing about Beast Mode is that you don't realize how far away you are from it when you first return. I had this vision in my head where I went back to the gym and lifted like I never took a day off. Unfortunately, for me, this wasn't the case. My workout went a little like this ...

First up, front squats. I'm thinking my single rep max is 205, so obviously, I can do 135 for seven. I set up my rack and begin. By rep number five, I was questioning whether I could even finish the last two with good form, not to mention the fact that I still had two more sets.

I barely finished and quickly removed 20 pounds from the bar. 115. Okay, I can do this. Yeah, not so much. I finished that set and yet again removed another 20 pounds.

95 pounds. Easy peasy. Probably where I should have started. Too bad my ego got in the way.

After that, I grabbed a 25 pound kettlebell and some floor space. I was planning on doing 15 KB swings and eight pushups. As many rounds as possible in 10 minutes. I was off like a bat out of hell. And then the repetition caught up to me. My legs were already spent before I started and my shoulders kind of wanted to kill me. It was epic. Somehow, I managed nine rounds.

Ready to be done, I walked outside to meet my friend for a four mile run, which I ultimately ended up hobbling through since my legs were no longer functioning.

Ever since, I've been sidestepping up the stairs and bracing the wall when I sit down. It feel good to be back.

School - So, Dizzle and Doodle are into their third week of school and I am still left with the nagging feeling that we may not have made the right decision sending them (especially Dizzle) this year. Long story short, I know my kids and I know how they are motivated (and unmotivated). I know how they best learn and I know what distracts them. And I really know when they are not being challenged.

Yes, I realize it's early in the year. And yes, I realize that every teacher has their methods. But, there is so much wasted time and effort that it drives me bananas. Fortunately, I don't mind being that annoying parent that teachers dread getting an email from or seeing in the hallway. If I don't advocate for my children, no one will. And I intend on doing so until I am on board with what's going on.

Hawaii - In exactly 30 days, I will be here.

It's the first really big trip (Disney aside) that we've taken since our wedding/honeymoon almost 10 years ago. It will be the first time the girls will be on a plane for more than two and a half hours (Our flight out has a leg that is over 10 hours!) and it will hopefully be amazing. So, my question for you is, "Have you ever been to Oahu? What are your must dos?"

Monday, September 16, 2013

live deliberately ...

Dizzle once asked me what "Lost time is never found" meant. I simply told her that we never get a change to relive what has already happened. That if you waste your time or an opportunity, you don't get a chance to use it later.

The answer seemed to satisfy her eight year old mind. She said to me, "So, if you are mean you can't go back and unsay what you said, even if you're sorry. And, if you ate pizza, you can't go back and un-eat it. And, if you sleep all day you don't get to live that day again."  

Laughing, I said, "Yes, that the general idea."

Now, weeks later, I can't help but think about that quote. Sure, it tells us that you don't get a second chance at what has lapsed, but more than that I think it tells us to simply live deliberately.

It's easy to let life pass us by. We all get stuck in a routine of the boring and the mundane. It's then that things can become stressful, mind-numbing and cause you to lose your focus.

But, by choosing to live deliberately, you can stop all that and you'll never have to worry about the lost time that is never found.

Life is simply a series of choices. Some easier to make than others - from what you wear to what you eat to how you spend your time. So make your choices wisely.

Ask yourself, am I giving meaning and purpose to my choices?
Am I considering the effect of this decision now? 10 minutes from now? 10 years from now?
What will be gained from this and what will be lost?
Who will I hurt and who will I help?
Will this choice strengthen or weaken me? Will it get me to where I want to be?
Is there an intention behind my action? Or am I just following along?
Am I living deliberately?

Every action has a reaction.
And lost time is never found, so are you making the most of every moment?

I'm trying to. Every single day.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Rev3 Cedar Point HalfRev Recap ...

Date: 9/8/2013
Location: Sandusky, OH
Overall Time: 6:51:10
Swim Time (1.2 miles): 41:01
T1: 8:39
Bike Time (56 miles): 3:21:51
T2: 2:18
Run Time (13.1 miles): 2:37:21
Division Place (Athena): 6/16
Gender Place: 158/246
Overall Place: 549/706

When 2013 rang in, I had big dreams for this race. It was going to be my first 140.6. I was going to push myself further than I ever had. I was going to commit myself 110% to reaching my goal.

But then, my body revolted. I started gaining weight. I was tired all the time. An easy three mile run was affecting my body in the same way that a half marathon race does. I wasn't recovering, yet there didn't appear to be anything medically wrong with me. After two months of searching, we figured out that my cortisol levels were out of whack and they were being compounded by the fact that I was suffering from hypoglycemia.

My body needed to recover. I needed to find the right balance of nutrients to stop my blood sugar from crashing. I knew I couldn't do that while training 15-20 hours a week. So, I made a decision that at the time, I really didn't want to make. I switched to the 70.3 and made the goal to get my health back to normal and to just finish the race. 140.6 would be there waiting for me if I ever felt compelled to find it.

So, I worked with a nutritionist and found a way to eat that kept my blood sugar stable. I started to recover better. I no longer felt like I constantly needed a nap. I was improving.

Then, there was training. I used the most basic of basic plans. A true, "just finish" plan that peaked at 9 hours per week, a big drop from my previous 70.3 training which peaked at 15 hours. And while I had no doubt I could finish, I didn't truly feel ready to race. And shockingly, I was 100% okay with that. I was going to have fun and I was going to cross that finish line no matter what.

And that's exactly what happened.

I arrived in Sandusky on Friday night after picking my teammate, Anne, up at the Cleveland Airport on my way. We met the rest of the Rev3 crew for dinner and while there, I was convinced to run the Glow Run 5K. Although I was hesitant at first, knowing that Sunday alone would drain me, I ended up having a blast. Kate, Kelly and I jogged the course, laughing the whole way.

Kate, Kelly and me somewhere around mile 2.5
A Glow Run sunset ...

On Saturday, I ended up driving Anne to her race (the Sprint) and decided that since I would be there anyway, I would volunteer to course marshal the KidRev and SprintRev races. Not only was it super fun, but it was a great reminder that none of us would be able to do this sport that we love if we didn't have people who were willing to give up their day to be on that course supporting us. So, if you haven't already, volunteer at a race. Give back to this sport that gives us so much.

Anyway, after spending half the day on my feet, my dear friend Heidi (who also raced the Half Rev) and I left around 1:30 to go relax for the rest of the day. After a big lunch at Chipotle and a light dinner at the Italian restaurant across the street from the hotel, we called it a night.

Despite sleeping soundly, our 6 a.m. wake up call came quickly. I got up and got dressed and then ate a breakfast of gluten-free blueberry waffles with peanut butter, honey and a banana. While I was eating, we got notification that due to a rip current the swim location had been changed. The one downside to this plan was that we now had a half mile run from the swim exit to T1 (hence the really long T1 time).

Upon arrival at the race, Heidi and I set up our transition area and got ready to hang out until our start time, me at 8:40 and her at 8:45.

Ready to race ...
Before we knew it, it was time to go. Although I knew that pacing well was my goal for the day, I seeded myself towards the front of my wave (self-seeding took place due to the last minute location change). I knew I had been swimming well recently and didn't want to have to climb over people in the water.

Right from the start, I felt good. I easily found my rhythm and mostly stayed on course. I never pushed the pace. My heart wasn't racing. I just tried to stay consistent.  (The swim was a counterclockwise triangle on the marina side of Cedar Point. This allowed us to sight off a strip of land that we circled.) There wasn't very much "traffic" as I swam, with the exception of at the turn buoys and even that thinned out quickly. When I made the final turn toward the shore, I remember thinking, "There is no way that I am done. I feel like I've only been out here for 15 minutes."

When I got out of the water and saw that my watch said 41:00, I was floored. That time was a 7:55 PR at this distance, a fact that was enough to make my whole day worth it.

Riding high, I headed to T1, made a quick change of footwear and was on my way. I knew that the bike was going to be dicey. The winds that were causing the rip current in the lake, were also adding an extra challenge to the bike. And since we all know that I do the vast majority of training on my trainer (as in I have only rode my bike outside four times this year - three races and one ride), my handling skills aren't the greatest.

I decided early on that aero position wasn't going to happen. I was being blown sideways and backwards enough to know that I would feel too unstable. So, if we are being honest, I probably lost some time there. Also, I never really pushed it on the bike. I was working hard, but comfortably, if that makes any sense. I knew that based on my training the run was going to be brutal and I wanted to give myself every advantage that I could. Thus, when the wind was at my back at the beginning of the bike, I ultimately didn't take advantage of it. I was still warming up and telling myself not to kill the first 10 miles only to die at the end. So, again, I probably lost even more time there. Finally, I stopped three times to refill my aerobottle. I tried to fill it while I rode, but again, those handling skills thwarted my efforts. I figured it was better to lose a minute or two refilling than it was to crash or not drink at all.

Other than that though, the bike was awesome. The course was beautiful, mostly flat (definitely a climb or two) and fast. I'd ride it again in a second.

After a fast bite to eat in T2, I was off on the run. The plan from the start was to do a 2/1 interval. My training plan was very light on running and my longest run was 10 miles, over a month prior to the race. I didn't want to risk blowing up, so I just tried to be consistent. The plan worked out perfectly until about mile 10. I could tell my electrolyte balance was off and I started getting nauseous. I stopped and threw up but the nausea didn't completely wane. My pace slowed in those last three miles because of it, but I did stick to my plan. (Note: The whole run course is pancake flat with the exception of a small hill on the causeway that you cross at roughly mile 2 and 12. This is most definitely a PR course.)

As I came through the finishing chute, I saw that Heidi had come back to cross the finish line with me. I was so happy to see her (I last saw her when she blew past me at mile 2 of the bike). We decided to go big with our finisher's photo, leaping before the finish line.

I couldn't have asked for more. It was an awesome finish to an awesome day.  I was very proud of my performance, especially considering the year I have had. And, I really need to take a moment to thank everyone who helped me get to this point. Thank you to all my friends and family who cheered me on, who watched my children so I could train and who listened to me obsess about this race even if they had no interest. Thank you to my Rev3Tri Teammates for constantly inspiring and motivating me. And thank you to all my sponsors, Pearl Izumi, Compex, Powerbar, Biotta Natural, SBR Sports and Blueseventy, who help me do what I do day in and day out. Without all of you, I would never be able to do any of this.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Strong Body Whole Heart needs your help!

If you've read my blog before, you probably know that I try my best to keep it real. I don't review a million products that I'd never really use. I don't sugarcoat the ugly and messy parts of our lives. And I don't throw my support behind things I don't really believe in.

But, when I come across something really worthwhile, I will scream it from the rooftop. That's why when my friend and teammate, Kelly, asked if I would spread the word out about her new project, Strong Body Whole Heart, I was eager to help.

Kelly and her business partner, Maggie are developing a FREE podcast series and need your help getting it off the ground. They are about $600 away from their fundraising goal of $2000 (which will go towards equipment and other start up costs) and only have until September 16th to secure the rest. It's all or nothing. If they don't make their goal by that date, this project won't happen. And trust me, it's something that needs to come to fruition.

Watch this video and I'm sure you'll feel the same way ...

Don't have time to watch now? Well, here's a little bit about Strong Body Whole Heart from Kelly ...
Our Strong Body Whole Heart mission is to inspire and nurture whole body health through spiritual, emotional and physical transformation. How do we live Strong Body Whole Heart?
  • We are passionate about reaching out to help others feel inspired and supported.


  • We are willing to reveal our own successes and struggles in our lives.

  • We endeavor each day to honor who we are in the present and all we can become.


  • We look for joy in small moments and we approach the messiness of life with grace and a smile (most of the time, anyway).

If you are interested in learning more about Strong Body Whole Heart please click on this link to our Indiegogo campaign and please consider donating. You can be a part of this movement that will bring whole body health to so many people who are seeking and yearning for a change like this.
Let's help Strong Body Whole Heart become a reality!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Three Things Thursday ...

Swim Mojo - Back when I started racing triathlons, swimming was my enemy. I absolutely dreaded it. I had no idea how to swim freestyle and my breaststroke was painfully slow. Like so slow that I was keeping pace with people walking in the pool. Embarrassing.

Then, when I decided to train for my first 70.3, I knew I couldn't continue to "fake" my way through the swim. So, I read a book (I'm such a nerd) and taught myself how to breathe and stroke and all that stuff that comes with endurance swimming. My first real workout was 8x25. That's it. 200 meters and it totally kicked my butt. But, I kept at it and before long (seriously, it didn't take that long) I could swim for a hour straight. It was simply amazing to me.

For the first 15 months or so, I never got any faster. If I had a good swim, I'd finish 2600 meters in an hour. I wasn't fast. I was consistent. But, I kept swimming.

Then, one day, something clicked. I'm not sure what it was and I didn't even realize that anything had changed, but suddenly, I was logging 2800 meters in an hour. Then 3000 and now, somewhere around 3200. And if you've never swam, let me tell you, 600 extra meters in the pool is a hell of a lot farther than 600 meters on land (yes, I realize they are the same distance regardless. But, the work is not equal.)

So, the interaction I had after my swim yesterday shouldn't have surprised me. My lane mate finished his workout about five minutes before I did. He got out of the pool, but hovered at the end of the lane. I thought maybe he was considering getting back in, but when I stopped, he started talking to me. The conversation went a little something like this:

Swimmer Dude: "Did you do that race on your cap? I just did my first two triathlons this year."
Me: (thinking, "How else would I get this cap?") "Yes"
Swimmer Dude: "Awesome. So how do you get faster in the water? You were just blowing by me like it was nothing."

Talk about having my day made. Obviously, this guy has no concept of real speed (I know about a zillion people who are far faster than me in the pool), but his comment made me feel like such a rock star. Oh, and my answer - "Swim more. Like anything else, the more time you spend doing it, the more efficient you will become."

School Days - Dizzle and Doodle went back to school on Tuesday.

And although they loved it, I'm still skeptical. I love our school and I love the staff there, but I can't shake the feeling that they are missing the mark with Dizzle. There was a reason I wanted to homeschool her. And even though, there were also valid reasons for sending her, I'm not a 100% sure it was the right decision. Obviously, it's the first week and I need to give it time. I just think the Type-A in me is having a hard time waiting to see if we made a mistake. Ugh, parenting can be so hard at times.

Racing Day - Somehow, it's time for me to race Rev3 Cedar Point HalfRev. And although I feel completely prepared to finish, I'm still super anxious about it. I've had a rough go of training and recovery this year and due to circumstance, I've logged most of my miles on the trainer and the treadmill. Not the end of the world, but not ideal either.

But, I must remember that the number one goal is to finish while having fun. I know my training plan was designed for that. It didn't have the volume to set me up for a huge PR and honestly, I couldn't have managed it if it did. Things were supposed to play out this way. Now I just have to let them.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

August Rewind ...

Miles Run: 45.84 miles. One day I will show my run dominance again. Just not today ...

Bike Miles Rode: 273.3 miles. All on the trainer.
Swim Meters Completed: 35500 meters or 18.95 miles. I'm kind of in love with the swim right now. As long as I can drag myself to the pool.
Rest Days Taken: 8
Highest Run Mileage Week: 8/12-8/18: 14 miles
Highest Bike Mileage Week: 8/19-8/25: 83.7 miles
Highest Swim Volume Week: 8/12-8/18: 7500 meters or 4.76 miles
Long Runs Completed (1 hr+ miles): 1
Current Book: Right now, I am reading BZRK by Grant. But I also finished a few other books in August. (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.) 
  • Beautiful Chaos by Garcia
  • Beautiful Redemption by Garcia
  • An Abundance of Katherines by Green
  • Gone by Grant
  • Hunger by Grant
  • Lies by Grant
  • Plague by Grant
  • Fear by Grant
  • Light by Grant
  • The Kill Order by Dashner
  • The New ME Metabolic Effect Diet by Teta
  • Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Clare
  • Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes by Clare
Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Rice cakes with honey and cinnamon. So delicious.

Current Colors: Orange and Pink.
Current Drink: Tea. Hot tea, despite it being a bajillion degrees outside.
Current Song: Clarity - Zedd
Current Triumph: I've finished this training cycle and feel positive about this weekend's race. This year has been tough training/health wise and I feel like I am finding a balance (usually).
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: Rev3 Cedar Point HalfRev is in 4 days! I'm completely excited and freaking out. An epic combination.
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 September 4th, 2194.95 miles logged. Not looking good at this 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. But, it does look like I will run one in 2014.
  • 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. - We really need to get on this.
  • 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.- Guess we'll see this weekend ...
  • 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 September 4th, 14 desserts consumed.
  • 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 11 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!