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.