Monday, December 29, 2008

Remember me?.....

So a friend of mine reminded me of how long it has been since I last posted (thanks for calling me out, Jen).  I guess this off season has been off in more ways than one.  I've even sort of lost touch with my triathlon training partner (miss you Mimi).  So much just gets in the way of everyday.  There are so many things we want to accomplish and too little time in which to do it all.  I am usually the queen of prioritizing.  But things have gotten so mixed up in my head that I've almost forgotten how to prioritize.  And by mixed up, I simply mean that so much is trying to cram itself in there, that everything just gets pushed around.

Are you still with me?  I'm sure I've lost about 25% of anyone that may have been reading this, haha.  And for all you other "how many things can I put on my plate and still have a life" folks, thanks for sticking around.

I will probably be joining the many, many millions of other people that say "this new year, I'm gonna be more fit".  I promise Jen!!  I will be back in my tennis shoes in no time!  Just let me finish this last piece of chocolate cake..... and  ooh ooh!  Are those pumpkin muffins over there??!!  I can't just let that last lonely muffin sit there and not be enjoyed.  I mean I DO 
have a heart.

As for all you "really need a picture to make things interesting" folks, here is a shot of my babies:  
The suspense is almost too much to bear.....

Happy Training everyone!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My little casanova.....

Since I’m not much for talking about running since I’m not, well…………..running, then I will continue to talk about the main joy (or joys) in my life. And since the title of my blog is 50% about them, I guess it’s time to write about them for a little while. Hope you run-o-holics don’t mind too much.

It is amazing to see how much my boys have changed over the course of three years. Ethan was always the lovey dovey one, always needing to be held close and taken care of. And Chase was ..... well..... a bit of a "hands-off" kinda guy, with an independent spirit and autonomous will. But now Chase has transformed into this casanova of affection, constantly wanting a hug or just to sit with me. I totally love it, of course. I mean, how much longer will I get to enjoy this? At some point they are going to really push me away, as if in a "mom, you're embarassing me" kind of way. So for now, I'm loving every minute of it. And I have to tell you about Chase's latest "feel good" moment. Here's how the conversation went:

Chase runs over to me, I pick him up and he wraps his tiny little legs around me, places his hands on my face so sweetly.

I look him in the eyes, knowing that this fleeting moment will pass just as quickly as it came and I say "I love you Chase".

He looks me fondly in the eyes, not knowing just how blessed he makes me feel and he says, in his most sincere, precious voice, "I love toast".

Isn't he just so sweet??

Happy training everyone.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I have a double what??!!!

OK, so unfortunately, I do not have a race report for the Zooma 5K this past Sunday. I'm really bummed that I couldn't do it. As you see from my previous post, I had entered into a three to four week laziness/sickness/doctorness (is that a word?) hiatus that kept me from training as much as I would have liked to. And I can't even remember what my bike or my swim suit looks like. I thought that my icky nose was simply a cold that I had gotten from the boys. I kept taking all the "over the counter" meds I could find, but nothing would shake it. So when I woke up this morning and I couldn't hear, I figured..... better go see the doc. And guess what she said...... "You, my dear, have a double ear infection." What!!?? Am I two years old?! Do adults get ear infections?! Yes, my dear, we do!

So I told myself to look on the bright side, at least I didn't skip the Zooma 5K because of plain laziness. I was really sick! And the doctor has loaded me up on all kinds of good stuff to kick this little buggy bog (does anyone watch Wow Wow Wubzy?) in its little rear-end. I really do hope to be back on track (for real this time) very, very soon.

On the mommy front, the boys had their 3 year dr appt today and they did absolutely fabulous! Every doctor visit for as long as I can remember has been nothing less than a nightmare. For two years, every visit consisted of shots (times two), poking, prodding, and the occasional naked pee fountain. When you have twins in daycare and you visit the doctor a multitude of times, it doesn't take long for a child to realize that they are entering a world where needles are a preferred method of communication. But today, something was different. Something happened. Today, they grew up just a little bit more. Today, they turned into big boys.

Happy training everyone! And please........ try to stay well.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

So, where in the world have I been? I refuse to use lazy as my excuse. I was so excited about the cooler weather coming that now that its here, all I want to do is go home, put on warm jammies, play with my kids and curl up on the couch. What??!! Who is THAT person?   I thought she was long gone.

Crap! Please don't tell me that I am already starting to hibernate. No! I won't do it! I won't listen to you furry slippers calling my name! You cannot make me ease into your warmness! I want the cold air chilling my throat as I run past the golf course trying to catch the tailwind! I even bought a shiny new Nike jacket especially for those chilly, breezy morning runs. So move over furry slippers! Nike is calling my name!

OK, shew!, now that I think I've won that battle........... Where was I? Oh yeah, where the heck have I been? Taking care of sick babies, taking care of sick me, starting back to work full time, and planning the boys' 3rd birthday/halloween party. Yikes! I can't believe they are three already! They were born two hours shy of Halloween, so they are destined to eventually despise Halloween, as every party we throw them for the next 10 years will be..... you guessed it......... a Halloween themed party. Oh well. Its all about me anyway.... I LOVE Halloween! Just kidding. Ethan thinks everyday is Halloween. He loves costumes and he wears a different everyday! I literally have to bribe him with waffles to get him to take it off so that we can get ready for school. At least he gonna be sharp dresser when he grows up.

I'm actually excited because at three they are really starting to understand the holidays. They understand that you decorate with pumpkins, ghosts and scary things for Halloween. And they know who Santa is. So that will make this year's Christmas very special!

On the training front..... I have the Zooma 5K coming up next weekend. Mimi, myself and two other girlfriends are running this one together. I've been sticking with my 6 to 7 mile training runs, so hopefully I should start shaving off time with my 5K runs.  I even ran 8.5 miles last weekend!  And it didn't kill me, haha!

I haven't been in the pool since my last triathlon and I haven't been on my bike, well...... since my last triathlon. Oops. I guess I'm allowed a few weeks of laziness, right? I'll be back on track soon. Happy training everyone

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"Last Chance" Race report....

What a gorgeous day to have the last triathlon of the year on.  Sunday was great!!!  We had such a great time and going backwards was a blast!  

Let me first start out by admitting that Mimi and I are sometimes underprepared when it comes to spare tubes.  I know!  I know!  How stupid can we be?  But we really learned our lesson on Sunday.  My husband was very disappointed that I didn't bring an extra tube with me, but like I said, I've learned my lesson.  

When we arrived at the aquatic center and unloaded our bikes, Mimi had  flat.  Her valve went straight through the wheel.  Fortunately, we were parked next to a VERY nice gentleman who was unloading his gear and he stopped to help.  THANKS DUDE!!  He gave Mimi a spare tube and we had one of the mechanics fix it for her.  Her bike was ready to go with only 10 minutes before the race started.

Now.... on to the race!

Trail 5K / 29 minutes (race PR!)

The temp was really cool so everyone was ready to get started.  My parents and sister were there, which was a really nice treat.  The director yelled GO!  and off we went.  The entire course was a trail run and the scenery was beautiful.  There was a really nice fog hanging over a little lake and a meadow with a barn in the center.  Again, it was so picture perfect.  And I was feeling great.  My breathing, my legs, my feet, everything just felt really good.  Before I knew it, we were exiting the woods and the aquatic center was straight ahead.  I ran under the finish banner and headed to my bike.  I do not know my transition times yet.

Bike 13 miles / exact time not know yet
I quickly changed into my bike shoes.  I was smart not to change socks this time.  That took way too long last time.  I'm sure you are wondering why I would want to change socks.  Well, I like to run in a thicker sock and bike in a thin sock.  So there you have it.  But I figured 13 miles would be ok to do in thick socks.  So I'm on the road and the first two miles were fine and then we rounded a corner onto Oak Hill Road and low and behold.... it was straight up!!!  What?  Where did that hill come from?  And what a hill it was.  It was short, but steep.  People were already off their bikes.  but I refused to dismount.  I stayed and pushed my way up that first short, steep hill.  And then the next one and the next one.  Now, keep in mind, I grew up in Douglasville, GA, so I knew these roads that the bike course took, but I had never traveled them by bike.  I knew that around mile 8 was a really, really, really long hill that was going to kick some people's butts.  As I came up to that hill, I looked ahead and saw people off their bikes walking up.  I totally understood their pain (b/c there were a lot of us beginners out there), but once again I refused to dismount my bike.  I knew that if I could just tough it out a little longer, the rest was gravy.  And that it was!!!  What a blast it was zipping down the other side of those hills!  By the way, only two people passed me in the run and three people passed me on the bike.  But I passed a lot of people (kind of a good feeling).

Swim 200 yards / still not sure of exact time

They cut the swim in half because of so many newbies in the race.  We were supposed to go down and back in each lane, but the race director was afraid of too many head on collisions that he decided to shorten the race and have everyone go down in one lane, back in the other and so on, serpentine style.  As I've mentioned before, Mimi blows me away in the swim portion, so I made sure that I had a little lead on her going into the pool.  Competition is healthy right?? Love you Mimi!!  I was three lanes ahead of her at the start of her swim, but she gained on me quickly and by the time I exited, she was only one lane behind me.  Way to go Mimi!  You Rock! What a great feeling to come out of the pool with your mom, dad, sister, husband and two sweet boys there cheering you on!  

So there you have it!  My second triathlon and I completed it in 1:29:10.  I'm very happy with this time.  I know that the swim course was shortened, but the they made up for it with the brutal bike course.  Anyway, thanks for reading!  Happy training everyone!  

Friday, October 3, 2008

Here we go again......

Two days and counting....... Triathlon number two, here I come! This one should be pretty interesting since it is backwards and all. At least it will be in a pool this time so if I come close to drowning, I can just stand up, ha! Actually, I'm going to do my best to be a big girl and swim the entire distance. I mean, come on! 400 yards is laughable to some of you tri-pros out there. But alas, I am merely a simi-tri virgin (I can call myself that, right??) and I truly hate, hate, hate swimming. At least, after this event, I will have several months to really go for it in pool training before I have to worry about competing in another triathlon.

But running????? That's another story. If my feet would let me, I would run for hours. So far, I have been able to bribe my feet into an hour and a half of good running in exchange for a hot soak and a good foot massage. Unfortunately, I never have time for the long, hot soak after a run and I haven't been able to find anyone to volunteer in the foot massage area. And my feet are starting to catch on that I'm a big fat liar when it comes to bribing them into longer runs. Its their own fault. I mean, seriously..... they should know me by now.

OK, so enough of me. Happy training everyone! And I will see you (or should I say "blog you") on Monday. Sunday, if you're lucky.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I hear you.......

There is logic in a well-oiled machine. Preparation is essential in our sport. Whether running, biking, swimming or all three, we have to be well prepared in order to gain any ground. And that preparation differs from person to person. Take me, for instance. If I go out to do a 6 or 7 mile run, I MUST make sure I have a water bottle and a power gel. Those are two things my body needs to not feel like death at the end of my run. A much more seasoned runner may not need either of those things for a short distance like that. Or they may need the same thing. It all depends on what their body is telling them. And in order to listen carefully at what our bodies are saying, we must listen over time. Our bodies do not jump right out there and say “Hey! I need blankety blankety blank for today’s run/bike/swim”. We have to give our bodies what we think they need and overtime, they will begin to tell us if we were right or we were wrong. I’m finally learning to listen very carefully to my body. And guess what? I hear it and it’s working!

On another note, I have to apologize for my rant last week about the “emergency kit” sign. I guess my drama got the best of me. Blame it on PMS. Blame it on having to work on a Saturday. Blame it on my own lack of gasoline and not really wanting to sit in the gas line. Either way, I will do my best to refrain from future “bitch” sessions.

On the mommy front, my boys got their first “real” bikes last night. And by the looks of their faces, you would have thought it was Christmas already! I sooooo wish I had my camera out right when they caught a glimpse of them.

Here is a pic of their evening sprints around the living room. I swear they did probably 100 laps between the living room and kitchen. By the way, those outfits are their DAILY attire. Ethan in the Spiderman suit and Chase in nothing but pull-ups and “big boy pants.” Everyday….. I kid you not.

Mimi and I are tapering this week. Our 2nd triathlon is Sunday. And it is a backwards event (run, bike, swim). Anyone done one of these? Your thoughts? I'm actually looking forward to mixing it up a little. Happy training everyone!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

How NOT to report the traffic.....

I can’t believe it has been over a week since my last post. I used to be able to spit out excerpts of my life without hesitation. Now I’m sometimes too focused on eighteen million things to concentrate on writing. I will blame it on old age. But, love it, I do. And, think it, I will. Therefore, write it, I must!

So I’m on my way home from work Saturday (yes, I had to work on a Saturday) and I pass one of those traffic signs, you know, the ones that tell you how long it is going to take for you to go the next 5 miles, as if the already backed up traffic isn’t a good enough sign for you, they want to rub it in by putting it in writing? Anyway, on Saturday, it read: “Have your emergency kit prepared. Be ready for the unexpected”. Excuse me??? Does the DOT know something I don’t? I don’t know about you, but crazy thoughts entered my mind, like “War of the Worlds” or “I am Legend”. (yes, dramatic, I know). But seriously???!! Like the nation isn’t already in enough of a panic over the rise in foreclosures, Wall Street debauchery, and the gas crisis (for those of you not in the Southeast, we are out of gas. Yes. That’s what I said….. OUT of gas). Now, I know that gas will be arriving here soon, so my plan of missing work b/c I can’t GET to work will be thwarted. But for those people that take drama to an added extreme (believe it or not, I’m not one of those people), this “sign” could be construed very irrationally. For the poor soul driving down GA 400, who has just received a foreclosure notice from his lender, lost big time in the stock market, and is just about to run out of gas,  this “sign” is probably the last thing he wants to see. I mean I’m all for preparedness, but lets be a little more specific. The Georgia DOT needs to have a little more common sense when posting things OTHER THAN the traffic report. Maybe the sign should have read: “Are you ready for severe weather? Is your car stocked with the right emergency kit? Always be prepared.” Again... specifics.  

OK, enough of that soapbox. How has everyone’s training been going??? I am now up to 6 mile training runs, yay!!! I had been doing 3-4 mile training runs for so long that I realized I was not pushing myself far enough. In order for me to recover and be able to go longer distances, I must actually GO longer distances. Makes sense, right? Who would’a thunk it?

I have a 5K race this Saturday and my second sprint triathlon on the 5th of October. And I’m feeling great! Good luck to everyone racing in the next couple of weeks.

Oh! And on the mommy front…….me + kids + potty training does NOT = happiness. I think my boys are conspiring against me in this endeavor. But if I can push my self to run farther, then I can push my patience a little farther too. Wish us luck.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I've created a monster......... Myself

Ahhhhhhh..... don't you just love the feeling you get when you arrive home after completing a 5K, 10K, triathlon, or any sporting event that you have been working towards?  The sense of accomplishment that overcomes you as you walk through the door is one of the many addicting aspects of sport.  Of course, the rush you get just after completing a race is a much greater high, but let us not forget the additional rush we get just walking through our front door.  It's that little "cherry on top" feeling that comes with knowing we started another day off on the right foot.  Much more satisfying than waking up at 10, rolling over, looking at the clock and realizing that you just slept through half your day.  Now you gotta play catch-up to make up for the fact that you only have two days in the weekend to "get it all done" and you just slept through one quarter of it.  Yep.........I definitely like a sporty start to my day much better.

So, we had the Beat the Street for Little Feet 5K in Oakhurst this morning.  Its a cute little town in Atlanta and right down the road from my house.  My cousin Amy completed it with me.  Being that this was her first event..... ever, I didn't try to break any records (I'm just laughing out loud as I type that).  Instead, I used this as a chance to try out my motivational skills (again....I'm laughing out loud as I type that).  No, seriously, I really wanted to teach Amy the things I've learned over the past 6 months of training.  It was really kinda neat.  She asked questions and I actually knew the answers.  She asked for advice and I actually had some to offer.  It was great.

I made sure that I continually asked if she was feeling ok.  I continually checked to see if she needed to slow down or wanted to speed up.  I kept a close check on our average pace and a close check on her.  She told me not to worry if she started turning purple.  I laughed and thought "ok, should I worry if you fall over?  Or should I just keep going?" haha  Actually it was quite humid, so I'm sure I was turning a lovely shade of red myself.

The course was pretty hilly and I wasn't really expecting that.  And as we trekked up the steepest hill of the course, our cousin, Jeff, (yes another cousin..... remember...... we're in the south...  we're all cousins somehow) zipped past us with his two kids in a double stroller.  Crap!  Now we gotta speed up b/c he is not going to let us hear the end of this.  Huffin' puffin' strugglin'..... aw forget it!  Just go on Jeff!!!!!     

We finally come around the the next corner and there it was!  My favorite site (besides my kids and large slice of cheesecake)!!  The finish line.  Amy didn't say a word and she didn't slow down either.  I could hear my mind yelling "go Amy, go Amy!  You're going to do far better than you thought you would!  You came out here on a whim with me and you conquered something for the first time!  Your first 5K!  And I was a part of it.  I'm proud of you!  Keep going!  Keep going!"  And we did it!!  We crossed the finish line at 31:58.  My Nike tracker said we had actually gone 3.44  miles in 33:03.  Either way you look at it, we did it.  She did it!  I'm more excited for her than I am for myself.  We are now planning our next one in two weeks.

Way to go Amy!!!  I love you!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Survival of the fittest!!!.....

Well............ survival of me at least. I did my big brick, as promised, on Saturday. And let me tell ya....... it was great! I was actually quite surprised of my performance. And my new gadgets were a true motivation.

You see, my birthday was Friday and the hubby got me the Nike Sport Pak and a heart rate monitor. And I really, really, really wanted to try them out in a serious way!

So, I headed out to the Silver Comet (a lovely path in GA that travels I don't know how far, but it is totally flat and beautifully shaded, perrrrrrrrfect). I packed for a long day with two Gatorade bottles, two water bottles, two gu's, a cliff bar, my belt fully stocked and the very important Ipod. The weather was gorgeous and a light breeze blew as I got my bike ready to hit the path. I started my ride with the idea that I would do 15 miles since I planned for a long run as well. But as I rode, I got totally lost in the beauty of the day and the activities of the passersby. So as I went past the 7.5 mile marker, I wasn't ready to turn around. Not yet. I just wanted to keep going. I just wanted to use this time to reflect on everything around me, reflect on my children, reflect on the choices I've made in my life. I just wanted to keep going so that I could keep using this time as my mental revival. As I came up to the 10 mile marker, I reluctantly decided to turn around. Even though I felt great and could have kept going on the bike, I wanted to be able to fully enjoy the day by topping it off with a good run.

I got back to the car and assessed my intake. I managed to finish one of the Gatorade bottles and half the water. I also tried a Hammer Gel during the ride and let me just add, it was not that appetizing. Those are definitely an acquired taste. Gimme a vanilla bean Gu any day (mmmmmm). So with that said, I ate my vanilla bean Gu before my run, strapped on my belt with Gatorade, changed shoes, (fixed my hair, of course - nobody wants to see a girl running with helmet hair) and off I went.

The legs felt heavy as I started back down the path. I knew my pace would be slower due to the long ride, but I was ok with that. I just wanted to enjoy my time. My mom had the boys for the weekend, so I was on no time constraint. I could go as far and as slow as I wanted. But alas, the Nike tracker was keeping up with my constant pace and to look down and see it creeping up in time was too much of a motivator for me to pick it up. For the first 3 and half miles I kept my pace under 10 minutes (which is good for me). But at my turn around point I decided that I had to slow it down just a little. The slight burn in my thighs was a settle reminder that I had just gone 20 miles on the bike!
As I muddled along the path, listening to Brendan James, Damien Rice, and all my other melancholy tunes, I took a deep breathe and cocked a slight smile and thought about how proud I was of myself. I could have taken it easy and completed a shorter training session. I could have gotten home earlier so that I could finish the piles of laundry. I could have gotten caught up on my Tivo in a much quieter setting. I could have worked on photo projects that I had been putting off b/c of time. But I decided to work on a much greater project........myself. And that felt great!
I hope everyone was able to work on their "projects" over this beautiful weekend.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Various bits and pieces.....

1. I did my longest swim (750 meters) and my fastest 3 mile run (28 minutes) last night. Where did that come from??? I don’t care, just keep it coming!

2. My dear friend, Mimi, is worried about my addiction to blogging and reading blogs and visiting various running and triathlon sites. Of course, I didn’t help my cause any last night by saying (over and over and over) “I think I’m totally addicted to blogging and reading blogs and running and triathlon sites!” haha. I’m actually scared now, because she compared it to online porn addiction. Forgive me father, for I have sinned.

3. I was reading up on a fellow blogger and she mentioned the RunnerPlus site (thanks Marcy), so, of course, I had to check it out. Pretty cool and I was totally stoked that my new Nikes came equipped with that little storage pocket to hold the device. Hee hee (I’m losing it now, I know)

4. The “running advocate” is back on the loose! I’ve now convinced my dear friend (and cousin) (of course, I’m in the south, so we’re all cousins, haha) Amy to run in the Beat the Street 5k next Saturday. She’s been a runner for a long time, but has never entered an event. I think she’s gonna love it.

5. After reading the above, I realized that if you combine my “addiction” with my “running advocacy”, does that make me a Dealer???? Hmmmmm……. must…ponder…..that…..

6. I might get flack for this one……. I’m totally loving the new running skirt I bought. Yep! That’s what I said! Running skirt. I am a huge skirt fan. I wear one almost every day to work. So how totally excited was I when I discovered that I could wear one while training too!!!!??? Hey, when you’re not great at what you do, you might as well look cute trying to do it, right?

7. I believe my dear children are trying to audition for WWE Smack Down. They are almost 3 and they have entered into the fighting ring of wrestling. Where in the world did they get that from??!! Everyone says it’s normal for boys to start acting that way around this age, but OMG!!! Someone’s gonna get seriously hurt. It probably doesn’t help that they love watching Power Rangers and Spiderman and that I let them. Oops…. Did I just admit that in writing? (bad mom! bad mom !)

8. And finally, wish me luck for this weekend. Nope, I do not have a race or anything. But I am planning on a very long bike ride and hopefully an 8-10 mile run at the Silver Comet on Saturday. Just pray that I survive. :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Back to running.....

Today, Mimi and i ran in our first 5K this year, a little late in the season, I know.  But what do you expect?  We were training for a triathlon for 6 months for goodness sake.  My theory is that if I keep  signing up for events like 5Ks or sprint tris, then it will keep me motivated to train.  I'm sure that all you will agree.  If I do not keep something on my calendar, then I fear that my motivation will be ....... well ......... less than stellar.

So, back to my event this morning.  It was a really nice event located in one of Atlanta's nicest parks, Grant Park.  Very tree-filled and breezy, which made it so much nicer since the temp went from an expected 80 degrees to almost 90, yikes!  The first mile was tough.  I wasn't as warmed up as I would have liked to been.  Therefore, it took my legs a good ten minutes before they started feeling better (pretty sad, huh?  I should know better).  Anyway, after I got my groove on, the rest of the run felt great.  We finished the race at 31:05.  I'm not too disappointed with this time since I usually run 3 miles at an indoor track, very cool and flat at 29 minutes.   So, I have this first one on the books.   Yay!   Mimi and I plan on doing one almost every weekend until two weeks before our next tri in October.    

My birthday is next Friday and I'm trying to decide what I want to ask Craig to get me.  I'm thinking about swimming lessons.  Since all of you know how much I really don't love to swim.  I figured if I could get someone to help me do it the right way, I would learn to enjoy it and therefore, get better.  Thoughts?

And finally, I am sad to announce that I will not be doing to US 10K Classic on Monday.  I think I was still on my triathlon high when I decided to do it and I think I may have been a little too ambitious.  I want to be smart about my training.  So I will save the 10K for another day.

I hope everyone has a fun-filled, sport-filled Labor Day weekend!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mom's moment of pride....

I guess since the title of my site has a little to do with the kiddies, I should entertain you with my latest proud mommy moment.  So we are currently in the middle of potty training hell.  I hear all these stories from other moms that say "it was so child was trained in one day.......all you have to do is bride them.....", blah, blah, blah.  Give me a break!  You're all full of .....what I would like to end up on the actual potty and not on my floor.  Yes, I said floor.

Now that you have that wonderful image in your heads, I'll get the good part.  We decided along with the boys' teachers that we would start full potty training days at school this week.  So I dropped them off Monday morning, warning the teacher that they both had on their "big boy" pants and I loaded her down with extra clothes.  I told the boys all morning that if they did a good job at school with going to the potty and if they didn't have any accidents, then we would go get a prize afterwards.

So I'm sitting at work all day Monday wondering how those poor teachers are handling Chase giving them a smile while peeing in the floor or Ethan spending countless minutes sitting on the potty only to get up and poop in his pants.  Those poor girls.  

So I arrive at school at 4 pm.  One of the teachers was hanging something outside their class so I had a chance to talk her before the boys caught sight of me.  "Give me the good, the bad and the ugly" I said.  She replied with a huge smile and proceeded use words like "great" and "no accidents" and "they went on the potty all day".  What???!!!!  Do you remember who my kids are?  Have you been dealing with two year olds so much today that your  brain has warped into some sort of bizzarro world and you have no idea what you're talking about???  I'm sure the look of surprise on my face was priceless to her.  

So even though I was sooooo happy that they used the potty all day and had no accidents, at the same time, I was wondering what I had been doing wrong all this time.  I decided not to let it dampen my happiness.  I would figure that out another day.  Right now, all I needed to do was run into their classroom and give them both huge hugs and tell them how proud I was of them.  And they, too, were excited to tell me about their day.  They also wanted to make sure that I hadn't forgotten about the "prize" promise.  So off to Target we go!

You are probably assuming that "Mom's moment of pride..." has already been described for you......  WRONG!!!  I'm getting to that.

So I call Craig.  He meets us at Target on Northside and we head to the toy department (after a quick stop to the restroom, of course.  Need to make sure everyone is good to go).  Both boys are so excited as they peruse the wall of toys and play with each just a little to decide if it is something they want to take home.  There they are, browsing through the Handy Manny section, knowing that whatever they want is theirs.........  And then it happens..........Ethan stands still and proceeds to create this lovely yellow pool of relief right in the middle of the aisle! ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!!!

So needless to say, my moment of pride came when I had say "Excuse me sir.  My son had an accident on your floor".

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Family Affair....

For those of you that are part of a dual-sport family, you can all agree that although dividing the time can be tough sometimes, understanding is a HUGE benefit to this dynamic.  I've mentioned before that the "mom-triathlete" is a special breed, but the title certainly does not come without assistance.  My husband was an athlete long before I ever even imagined running a marathon or completing a triathlon.  He's been a cyclist for probably close to 20 years and that kind of dedication is amazing to me.  (He's gonna kill me when he sees me talking about him, let alone the pics, haha - btw he's in the middle, holding the bike).   But I'm talking about him b/c the benefit of a "dual-sport" family goes beyond family fitness.

This dynamic, if you will, brings with it a sense of greater understanding that both parties need the time to devote to whatever it is they do.  Craig has been very supportive in this new adventure of mine and I know that it is because he knows what it takes.  We divide our time as evenly as possible.  I get Mondays and Wednesdays and he gets Tuesdays and Thursdays.   We divide the weekends up as well unless one of us has a race.  So, the understanding is a major part of our relationship.  For those of you that do not have a spouse that is as active as you might be, as long as the understanding is present, you have a wonderful chance of succeeding.

Another wonderful benefit of this "dual-sport" family is the impact my husband and I are having on our children.  I hope that they can gain an appreciation of sport, competition and fitness.  They love to watch me and Craig in our endeavors.  And they truly enjoy trying too mimmic whatever it is we are doing.  It tickles me so much to see Ethan put on one of Craig's jerseys, his helmet, his bike shoes, AND his gloves.  And then he gets on his tricycle and hightails it down the driveway.  I love it!!  So I just hope and pray that they love being outside as much as we do and that that love stays with them long after they leave toddlerhood.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Welcome back, me!

Yay! I am officially one week out from surgery and have the "ok" to start training again. Yippee! Distance does make the heart grow fonder. Of course, the minute I'm out on my usual running course, I'll be saying.... "I missed this???!!" I kid.....

Anyway, I'm sitting here (at work, oops) thinking about how happy I am when I run. I went to lunch with a girlfriend of mine today who is going through some difficult personal issues and I started ranting and raving about how wonderful running is. What??? When did I become this "running" advocate??? In school, I used to hate running, and yet I joined the track team, uh???? Makes sense right?? I guess it goes back to what I talked about earlier how training for a triathlon is so torturous sometimes, yet we keep doing it. (it's almost like that boyfriend we had in high school who acted like he could care less about us, but we kept going back for more, sad, but true - you know who you are - we ALL did it!)

And here we are pushing ourselves onto that unforgiving state of pain (once again).....the swim does scare us and the bike does hurt us and the run does numb us. Except with this, we emerge with our dignity and pride completely in tact. As a matter of fact, our dignity and our pride have been lifted to a higher place because we endured this.

So back to the "running advocate"..... I'm glad that I had a chance to talk to her about how much I enjoy running and training (even though I hate swimming, but hope for that to change one day). I was glad to hear her enthusiasm as she asked me more questions about it. I just hope that she can find her "release". She wants to get in better shape and I told her that not only was this a great way, but it was also a great "release" especially for someone going through what she is going through.

So, cheers to me! (big on myself huh?? haha) I'm back in training mode as of around 7 pm tonight. I'm so excited, I'm giddy.... just like that high school girl about to go out with "that jerk again".

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The "Mom-Triathlete"

OK, so I completed my first triathlon. And now it is very unfortunate that I cannot ride that high I'm still on. The day after my tri, I had minor eye surgery and the docs said I HAD to take at least a week off from training. Boo hoo! I'm soooo itching to get back in my running shoes, or back in the water, or back on my bike, I can't even stand it!!!! Oh well.... Doctor's orders....

I guess, then, I'll take some time to talk about something one of my fellow "bloggers" brought to my attention. I'm a full-time mom, a part-time litigation specialist, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, and now a triathlete.

And therein lies the question...... What is the true sport here? Triathlon or Life-Juggling?

I have been reading a lot of posts of other mom-triathletes. They are amazing to me. And they all have one thing in doesn't matter how many jobs they have to juggle or how many tasks they need to complete or how many requests are thrown their way...... they all FIND the time for themselves. I think that finding the time is the most difficult part for any mom-triathlete. And then once they find the time, putting everything they need to do in the right order becomes imperative.

A couple of weeks ago I was asked "Raina, how in the world do you find the time to be a mom to toddler twins, work in a law firm, take the kids to and from school, do the grocery shopping and the laundry, and train five days a week for a triathlon?" It took one second for me to answer that question..... "I find the time for me." (Of course, I do have a good husband that helps around the house and understands the importance of helping me FIND the time I need to do these things.) But the "juggling" is left up to me.

I'm learning that the "Mom-Triathlete" is a special breed. Timing and order are specialties of hers and she knows how to put the most important things first. Children take that spot, of course. Every mother knows and understands that. So what comes next in line? Unfortunately a lot of women fill up the next few spots with cleaning the house, doing the laundry, cooking dinner, or shopping for groceries. To me, these are "non-vital" necessities. They are necessary, of course, in day-to-day life. But are they vital? Are they a crucial part of a life ful-filled? Vital necessities are things that MUST be addressed without question. When did we as women and mothers become next in line behind non-vital necessities? We have no problem in admitting that our children are the most important to us and that their needs are fundamental. So why is it so hard for us to give ourselves that kind of importance? How can we strive for happiness when we consider ourselves second rate to bread?

Mom-Triathletes understand timing, rank and order. They understand that life is too short to put clean sheets and a newly vacuumed rug ahead of their happiness. Vital necessities become about them and their children first. Everything else can wait. (At least until the fridge is empty).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I cannot thank these people enough...

With my first event under my belt, I have to reflect on one of the most important aspects of my accomplishment....... and that is thanking the many people that made it possible.

First and foremost, I have to thank my husband.  With two young children, it is difficult, at best, to find the time to be able to train like you need to.  I have always supported his love of cycling and his need for the time to train and compete.  Now he has returned the favor by being there for me and allowing me to take all the time I needed to prepare for this life changing event.  Thank you Craig.

I also have to thank my dear friend Mimi.  Back in January she was talking about how she wanted to do something to try and get back in shape after having her second child.  She told me about this site she found:  And that she was actually going to complete a triathlon!  Wow, I admired her.  I told her I was proud of her and that I wished I could do something like that.  After about two months, I finally said, what the heck!!!  What is stopping me from being able to do it.  So I signed up with her.  Thank you Mimi!

As silly as it sounds, I have to thank my boys, Chase and Ethan.  Even though they are only 2 and a half, and they probably don't totally understand what training and competing is, they are the reasons why I do most of what I do.  So, thank you boys!  I love you!

To all my friends and family for their words of encouragement, thank you.  It means so much to me to know that I have a circle of positive sunshine around me that is generated by the love and support you give.  

So, as promised to some of you, here are some pics.  Now, keep in mind that the camera DOES add 10 pounds, haha:

Monday, August 11, 2008

It's Official !!!!!!! (be prepared, this is a long one)

I'm a triathlete! Yay! I wanted to post this yesterday immediately after the race, but.......well....... I passed out, ha!

No, seriously, yesterday was great. Here's how things all went down:

We (Mimi and I) arrive and its still completely dark outside. I never realized how stressful it could be to get two bikes out of the car and put back together, dig out two large gym bags, account for several water bottles and Gatorade's, pump up four tires, and try not to get hit by all the hundreds of vehicles pulling in right behind us, all in the dark. But we DID finally make it down to transition area.

The Swim: 400 yards / time: 10:15

The swim was hard, which I knew it would be. Mimi is so much better than I am at this. She swam in college, so she is natural. While on the beach and watching the first two waves go ahead of us, I was hoping for fairly cool water. However, much to my surprise, it was terribly warm! So I got hot real quick. I made it to the first buoy OK, but then the breathing got tough. I looked around and I was in the back of the pack among my age group. This didn't bother me, b/c I totally expected it. By the time I hit the 2nd buoy, I noticed a slight currant being formed by all the swimmers and this helped tremendously, ha ha. And then, finally, up in the distance, there it was....... the exit! My run out of the water brought feelings of exhaustion and excitement accompanied by the proud feeling I had knowing that someone was out there shouting MY name. (Thanks Kelly)!

The Bike: 13 miles / time: 47:06

Yee haw! I'm on the bike and feeling great! Mimi was ahead of me by about 2 and a half minutes, but she and I both already pre-determined that I would probably catch up with her on the bike. And I would have totally done it had I not had to pull over at mile 1. I initially thought I had a flat, but a spectator and myself realized that some one's helmet number got caught in my wheel. He helped me pulled it out and then he gave a little push to get me started again (that was kinda cool). Not much to say about this portion except I felt pretty good the whole time. As I entered back into the transition area, I noticed Mimi exiting (damn you helmet number!!!).

The Run: 3.66 miles or 4.1 miles (we're not really sure) / time: 38:37

Here we go! The last leg! We start with a few killer hills, but I kept my pace a little slower than I would normally do, b/c I didn't want to give out too early. Had a couple of little pains start and end in each foot, but I got through them. The highlight was when I came up to a corner and looked over to see my husband and two sweet boys. They were all smiling and clapping. As you can see, the distance is still kinda undetermined. It was supposed to be a 5K. But once we exited the trail part of the run, one of the volunteers was there shouting "You're at 3.2! You're getting a little more than you bargained for!" What??!! Weren't we supposed to finish a tenth of a mile back??! We were all a little confused, but I kept my same pace. I didn't stop and I didn't slow down. As a matter of fact, as soon as I saw Main Street up ahead, I kicked it up a notch. And there she was.......a gorgeous site........the finish line! Kelly was there to high five me right before the finish and my three boys (hubby and twins) were there with big hugs on the other side of the line.

What a great feeling! No wonder this is addicting. Next one, here I come!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Last day as a non-triathlete...

So tomorrow is the big day and I'm sitting here thinking about ALL the reasons I decided to get into this sport.  I definitely want to say that I slapped agony in the face and told him "I beat you", but I think first and foremost, I decided to do it for my boys.  Craig, the hubby/daddy, has been a cyclist for about 15 years or so and the boys have watched him get on his bike four or five times a week.  So they look at him and they see an active lifestyle.  They see daddy getting outside and enjoying a sport that is dear to his heart.  But what do they see when they look at me?  It is a mommy that loves her coffee and her tivo'd episodes of Project Runway and Gray's Anatomy?  Or it a mommy that loves getting outdoors and enjoying a sport that pushes her further than she ever thought possible?

I decided that I wanted it to be the latter.  

And now I'm packing my bag and trying to make sure I have everything I need.  I'm sure that tomorrow is going to be a learning experience.  At least I can look forward to knowing that the next time I do this, I'll be a little more educated and a lot less green.

Here's to moving the sport up on my priority list and giving tivo a much needed rest!  :)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Two days and counting......

So this is the world of blogging, huh??  I started reading up on some other people's blogs and really enjoyed reading what they had to say.  And I thought..... why not keep my own log of my kids, my training, my life???  Here goes........  

So I'm competing (such a strong word) in my first triathlon on Sunday. As the day draws closer, I have found myself totally getting into all this tri-stuff. I'm reading more about it and watching "you tube" videos like crazy! I have mixed emotions ranging from excitement, to fear, to nervousness, to upset stomach (probably due to all the excitement, fear and nervousness).

I've watched the video of Julie Moss multiple times. And for those of you who do not know who she is, she competed in the 1982 Hawaii IronMan and became so dehydrated two miles before the finish that she staggered and fell to the ground. She then crawled towards the finish line only to be passed by her competitor with only a couple of yards to go. Anyway, watching the video makes me wonder.... why the hell do people do this? Why do they wake every morning with a painful training goal? Why do they work so hard to perfect torture? Why do they insist on staring agony in the face? I guess it's so that they can look agony in the eyes and give it one good slap across the cheek and say "I beat you".

I guess, among other reasons, that's why I do it.