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. :)