Exceed Your Limits!

One Step and One Day at a Time!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Quick Deal on Reusable Lunch Bags

I just ordered Reusies for my whole FAMILY - basically these are reusable bags (think never buy another plastic sandwich bag again!) that are sandwich sized, but can also hold snacks!  They are super cute.  They regularly cost $9.00 each, but they were featured on Good Morning America today and if you use the coupon GMA when ordering they were 50% off (I think this may be for today, August 15, only)!  That is worth it in my opinion since we seem to go through countless plastic bags and these are, obviously, much more environmentally friendly!

Just wanted to share - I know I haven't posted much lately - a TON of stuff has been going on in our family, but I should have a few more interesting posts sharing some information in the next few days.  Can't wait to catch up!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

WE Did It: Chelanman Race Report!

Well, I wanted to check in and give a race report before I forget all the details.  I am still trying to get back into the swing of things after being away and have not yet downloaded race pictures.  The above photograph was taken courtesy of a race sponsor and it is a photo of that photo, so I apologize for the quality.  My daughter completed her first tri as well and this photo makes me so proud.  Every ache, pain, frustration, and ounce of self doubt is worth it when I can share moments like these with my children!

The summary stats:

Overall Time:  1:31:02 (48/192 Overall, 3/24 Age Group)

Swim 1/4 mile: 08:43.04 (41/192 Overall, 2/24 Age Group)

Bike 13.1 miles: 43:49.4 (34/192 Overall, 1/24 Age Group)

Run 3.1 miles: 34:30.1 (105/192 Overall, 11/24 Age Group)

So, here we are where I can finally say "I seriously NEED to work on my run!"  The run was just flat out bad, although as you will read, I had some technical issues on the run too!  Let me start out with how much FUN I had this past weekend.  Sharing successes and challenges with so many fabulous athletes (and fantastic Ladies!) was just priceless.  I had so much fun, I reserved a hotel room for next year's race weekend!  We started off the weekend Friday evening with a wonderful dinner at a fabulous Italian place with fantastic views!  I can't wait to share pictures later this week!

Saturday, I watched the Olympic and Half Iron races, which were so inspiring.  So many of my teammates did the Olympic race and really inspired me to train for that race next year!  Saturday afternoon the family arrived and we headed to dinner and then hung out at the pool of the hotel.  That is where a little bump in the road occurred that would shake me to my core for the remainder of the weekend, and impact my run due to technical difficulties.  During a group picture (well, just after as everyone got up in front of me) I lost sight of my 2 1/2 year old on the steps of the pool.  In an instant she had fallen off the steps and over her head.  I ended up leaping in after her with the baby in the carrier (he stayed fairly dry) clothes (and running shoes) and all!  I have never had such a frightening experience and it has taught me that my children will wear life vests around water until they know how to swim flawlessly.  Never again will I think I can watch them adequately around water.  I ended up blow drying my shoes that evening.  Note to self:  next time your shoes get soaking wet, double check your Yankz laces - they may slip from their little clips!

But, on to happier things.  Sunday was race day.  The morning was gorgeous and I took a walk around the hotel grounds at around 5:30 am to just get myself moving, enjoy a cup of coffee, and listen to some music (and try to avoid waking my roommates!).  The lake was like glass and very peaceful.  There were a few of us already roaming around in nervous anticipation.

The SWIM:  I was overall very pleased with my swim time!  I had hoped to get it done in under 10:00 so I exceeded that goal!  I found that if I waited on the start just a second or so I could sneak between two swimmers and I was off for the races!  Except for battling the passenger ferry wake on the lake, it was a delightful swim.  I did, however, literally stop to chat with two ladies who were struggling from the wave before mine - and I have no regrets about that and were happy to find they had finished the swim!

The BIKE:  This time, my bike ride was AWESOME!  I was first in my age group on the bike and it was smooth sailing the WHOLE way.  Of course it was an easy rolling hill course without a lot of technical areas so that made it much easier than my last bike course.  My only issue was with some of the people riding side by side (really, what is with that?) to chat and making it difficult to pass since it was an open course with traffic!

The RUN:  Here is where my issues came into play.  First, within the first 1/2 mile of the run there is a steep hill out of the park.  I pushed my bike hard so that initial hill was ridiculous for me!  I actually had to stop and walk!  Very frustrating.  Then, as I got on the road portion of the course, I noticed my shoes were loose.  They kept getting looser and looser until finally I stopped.  My Yankz laces had basically slipped out of the clips and kept loosening.  I spent a good 90 seconds or more trying to fix my shoes at the guardrail while getting passed over and over again by runners.  NOT a happy moment (and I apologize to those who passed me for my language as I was grumbling at my shoes!).  I got off and running again only to still have one shoe come unclipped AGAIN!  So, stopped again by my dang shoes.  Then, as I stood up, my race belt "button" holding my number pops off into the grass under the guardrail.  For some unknown reason I stood there and searched for it and put it back on - still not sure why really - but I did.  My run time was horrible.  Considering all the time I spent stopped (and, unfortunately, walking sporadically during the first 1.5 miles) I am actually surprised it was not a worse time. 

So, the next two weeks I work on my run and brick workouts.  Along with the run I am FINALLY growing up and transitioning to clipless pedals.  Wish me luck, I will NEED it. 

With races back to back every two weeks right now, it really has become difficult to keep up with more than just race reports!  Once my next race is over I should have some breathing room to come back with more substantive posts as well!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

As The Weekend Nears......

I am getting excited and terrified all at once.  This weekend is monumental for a variety of reasons:

1.  This will be my first full triathlon.  I am finally doing all three segments, although I "downgraded" to only do the 1/4 mile swim so I could enjoy the weekend and have less not stress.

2.  This is my first girls weekend in 13 years of marriage.  I realized that in 13 years of marriage I have NEVER done a girls weekend.  Well, even a girls overnight!  So, tomorrow I head out with a large group of ladies racing this weekend.  Of course, it isn't a full weekend, since my husband and kids will meet me Saturday afternoon for some play time, dinner, and for me to nurse the baby.  But, they will stay in their own hotel room while I stay with ladies racing the next morning so I can get a full night's rest and roll out of bed to the race that is beginning in the park where the hotel is!

3.  This is the first time I am leaving my son overnight!  I never left the girls overnight before they were at least a year old.  This kind of makes me sad and makes me feel guilty.

4.  This is my first multisports WEEKEND!  This race is part of a larger event that is a full weekend long and includes an olympic distance, a half ironman, a 10K, and a half marathon as well as the two shorter races on Sunday so I will be eating, sleeping, and breathing multisports ALL weekend.  It should be fun.

5.  My 5 year old is also doing her first triathlon.  The organizers have also put together a kids race that is on Sunday afternoon and my 5 year old is doing it.  I am so excited for her!

So, in about 24 hours I am off to Chelanman - what a wild weekend it will be!  Oh, yeah, Body and Mind, please take note that the SAME rules apply as two weeks ago!

Stay tuned for the results from my fun and crazy weekend!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Joy of Watching it Spread!

In the last few days, I have felt so blessed to watch my hard work begin to spread out across my family.  One of the main reasons I am doing this (besides to avoid expensive therapy bills) is to provide a good example for my children regarding living an active lifestyle.  My joy and moderate success is beginning to spread across our family members - and that is by far my greatest reward.

First, last night we were checking out a new bike shop close to our house.  The owner asked my 5 year old daughter how her summer vacation was going and what she was planning to do.  She started by talking about her sports camp we were headed to after our brief shopping visit.  Then, she told him she is doing a triathlon this weekend (she is doing a kid's tri after my race).  But, what also just shocked me is she explained to him "Mommy is the first one to do a triathlon, she did one already and now I want to do one!"  He responded, "wow, you are pretty proud of your mom, huh?" and she responded "Yeah, that is why I want to do one."  My heart melted just a bit at that point.

My two year old is also picking stuff up as we go.  The other day she was standing before me in a strange pose reaching down to her toe.  I asked her what she was doing and she replied "stretching, mama, like you!"  Loved it!  She also has been focused on eating better to grow strong.  I like that approach!

Then, today, my husband is all excited because he found the bike he wants.  He wants the same version of my bike (just the men's version) so that we can ride together, even if just occasionally.  I am so excited.  He has some strange misconception however that he will "smoke" me on a ride.  I will let him have that for now, reality will be harsh once he gets out there (can't WAIT to introduce him to the 28 mile course I rode on Sunday - hills and all!)

So, therein lies my joy these days - my hard work is rubbing off on my family and I hope and pray it continues so we can enjoy a family active lifestyle together.  I KNOW many of my readers have been doing the same hard work and enlisting their families to join and support them - please share your experiences of how your hard work has set a great example for your family - I think it can be motivational for everyone!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Well, I DID IT!

And, honestly, I have to keep reminding myself I did it and that was the point of this whole exercise.  I have to remind myself that I completed the bike/run and I only registered for this to get out there, finish, and experience race conditions before adding the swim.  I MUST KEEP REMINDING MYSELF!

As you may remember, I was pretty nervous.  You can see this from a transition photo someone snapped of me (I think I was searching desperately for my husband and kids because I was TERRIFIED!)

So, here is the report:

Bike:  50:36.1  (grrrrrr)
Run:  32:14.2 (ok, I will take that, need to get 2:14 off soon!)

Swim:  Yeah, this was easy - my friend completed it in 9:48!  A very good time!  I know she was hoping for under 9:00 but, really, GREAT JOB!  My only complaint was on my behalf of fumbling with the timing chip after she came in and NOT having my bike off the rack because, well, all the other teams left theirs up there and I was not sure of the protocol/rules (I am a stickler for the rules, which I learn in this sport COULD actually hold me back or maybe it was just this event where penalties were apparently NO WHERE to be found.)

Bike:  This is supposed to be my no brainer.  Well, maybe I should have realized that it wasn't exactly a no brainer when, several days before the race, I began to freak out about the bike.  I was very conservative on the bike, taking turns too slowly, being apprehensive on the pass (it was an open course, meaning cars and trucks on the course). 

That left turn I was so worried about?  Piece of cake, really.  At least the first loop was a piece of cake.  I wish I had taken it harder and saved precious seconds.  It was a fairly easy ride, some moderate rolling hills, some definite potholes.  The potholes were significant enough that the race organizers marked them!  I started off a bit slow (and on the wrong side of the bike out, but thankfully no one was headed in at that time) and was really slowed by my cages on my bike - I truly need to get to clipless pedals by my August race, I just don't want to do my first fall (everyone falls at least once) on race day so I keep putting it off. 

A few minutes into my ride, I really started to feel comfortable and was on a straightaway so I began to hit the speed.  I was passing people quickly, and with little effort.  Then, as it got more hilly, I realized how conservative I was.  I would pass people effortlessly on the way up, only to have them pass me on the way down!  WHAT????  Obviously, I was too conservative when I should have been letting it fly - I did get better at this, but it took some time. 

After about 2/3 of the first loop (it was two 7 mile loops) I settled in to a pace (in hindsight too slow of a pace) and seemed to have found my spot in the group.  Then, we headed back onto a main road which, from my previous drive of the course, meant I should be able to power this pretty good, so off I went.  I began passing people, aware that there would be a hill in my future.  From my recollection, just a normal hill, no big deal.  As I approached the hill, I gained speed and kept powering through.  In the initial incline, powering through and then "WHAM" it hit me - I should have downshifted several hundred yards ago because this was WAY steeper than I had thought it would be and my quads were screaming.  Unfortunately, that basically threw the whole hill for me - it was impossible to regain the momentum as I downshifted over and over with the hopes I would make it to the crest without *GASP* getting off my bike and walking!  This hill wasn't straight up, but it was steeper than I thought and it WENT. ON. FOREVER.

So after powering through the hill (and I didn't have to stop!) I descended to the beginning of the course to start my second loop.  I thought to myself "ok, you navigated it fine, now put on more speed."  Off I went, make the quick right to the "left turn" and in front of me is a tow truck going SLOOOOOOW.  Held up by a bunch of riders ahead, the tow truck proceeded slowly with his right turn signal on the whole time.  I wanted to pass him on the right, but was too concerned he would turn without me seeing him.  I was going insane!  Every time he passed a side street I would groan louder and louder each time he didn't turn.  After a minute or so I was yelling "turn, turn, turn!"  This made all the race volunteers on the corners howl with laughter!  Finally he turned and I shouted "Hooray!" followed my more howling laughter!  I passed the group of cyclists that had been ahead of the truck and off I went. 

The remainder of the ride to the "big hill" was fairly uneventful.  Then, at the slight descent leading to the hill I put on a ton of speed hoping to catch the momentum.  As I began the hill I was flying, so happy I wasn't going to almost stall again.  I began downshifting slowly to accommodate the incline and then "WHAM!"  Downshifted to fast and my legs were spinning without resistance.  DAMN!  There went all my momentum AGAIN!  I struggled again to reach the crest.

As I turned in to finish the bike, I was not exactly pleased:

Finally, I turned into the bike dismount area only to have my husband screaming "KEEP GOING!"  He was annoyed I slowed down to early - but I was concerned about my cages catching (again, I REALLY need to get those clipless pedals on!).

Run:  So, off on the run I went.  It was significantly less eventful than the ride.  I even took a brief moment to wave to my husband and kids:

I did walk a bit through the brick part as my quads were really having a hard time adjusting and it was impacting that glute pain I warned my body about!  But, it did work itself through way before the midpoint and I continued from there with few issues other than it actually was WAY warmer than I expected!  As I re-entered the park I found a great burst of energy and finished strong. 

So, I finished.  I was NOT happy with my bike time and I start working on that Wednesday at my team training.  My run I was ok with, and hope to get faster the next time around.  In less than two weeks I will be doing another Tri - I have to admit, I can't wait.  But, I am getting cold feet on the 1/2 mile swim, so I "downgraded" to a Try a Tri at this event to limit my swim to 1/4 mile.  Of course, as soon as I did that I had a great swim on Wednesday night.  So much of this is a mental game, and once the pressure was off I enjoyed my open water swim tremendously!  But, the upcoming race is on a wholly unfamiliar out of town course for me that will be in hot temperatures but COLD water, so I am thinking it will be best to ease into it.  I will probably regret not doing the full half mile swim, but I will get that opportunity on my home course in early August for a swim race prior to the Sprint there in late August. 

In all honesty, this has all been kind of anticlimactic.  For some reason I have been kind of in a funk about it.  Maybe it is the slow time.  Maybe it was that I recovered fairly quickly and don't feel I gave it may all.  Maybe it just IS.  But, it is time to move on to the next race and training the bike and swim!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dear Body, Dear Mind

Dear Body:

YOU CAN DO THIS!  You have been working hard and strengthening yourself for months.  You have been fueled well, and rested this week.  With all this in mind, I do however have a few requests/orders:

First, please save the cramping for after the finish line.  In exchange, I will be sure to supply you with the electrolytes you need and give you a great stretch before and after the race. 

If at all possible, could you speed up the movement of blood and lactic acid out of my quads after the bike?  Waiting seven minutes and four seconds to feel like my legs are working again is a bit long and, frankly, unnecessary.  It also causes me to grimace in pain/annoyance and I really don't want that captured in any pictures from the event.  And, speaking of photos, if you could turn just so to hide my muffin top when near any functioning cameras, I would greatly appreciate it!

Please save the glute pain until after the race.  Running with my hand on my left glute chanting "I have a pain in my behind" is not the best approach to a positive race.

Unfortunately, use of restrooms between the transfer of the time chip to me and my crossing the finish line is strictly prohibited, so please plan accordingly.  And, while we are on that topic, I am fully aware that I have had three children within 5 years.  Therefore, the constant reminder through "bladder challenges" (yeah, THAT) is not necessary, so please conduct yourself accordingly.

Move and move fast.  And I don't just mean the arms.  If the legs could somehow reflect the speed with which the arms pump during the run, it would be much appreciated.

Don't fall.  Enough said.

Most of all, enjoy!  And, if you happen to forget any of these items, I will remind you loudly and often during the race to assist you with meeting these requirements.

Dear Mind:

YOU CAN DO THIS!  Any thoughts to the contrary are strictly prohibited.  Don't worry about the Body, it has also been informed of this, but DO provide encouragement as needed.  With all this in mind, I do have several requests/orders:

The only vision you may have of the left turn on the bike course is one of the Body sailing through it with just the right lean and speed necessary.  All other visions are strictly prohibited and "turned off" pursuant to THIS theory/instruction.

DO NOT think about those behind you and wanting to pass you on the bike course.  Leave it up to them to worry about that.  This is as much your race as it is theirs, so concentrate on yourself.

If, and only if, something doesn't go as planned, adjust and let it go.  DO NOT obsess about things you cannot change.

Stop worrying about whether you look like a dork.  You may well just look like a dork, but you are you, and most people aren't even going to notice - they are worried about looking like a dork too, so they are too focused on themselves.

Replace the thought "I don't know if I can do this" with "I AM doing this!"  Why?  Well, because you ARE doing this.

Enjoy!  You have wanted to do this for a long time and have had the privilege to prepare for it, so enjoy, LOVE it, and worry about tomorrow tomorrow!

Don't worry, if you forget any of this along the way, I WILL remind you loudly and often. 



*and if you pass me on Saturday and hear me reminding my body and mind about these things, just smile and laugh WITH me, not AT me!  Good Luck to all racing this weekend! 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

And, the Winner of the First Giveaway is........

Lara!  Lara wrote:


I subscribed to the emails and re posted Facebook. My favorite design is the St. Andrews Garden. I actual eat breakfast and lunch and work. My Favorite breakfast is a whole wheat roll or english muffin toasted and topped with Ricotta and tomato slices and then drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with pepper. It's one of the best breakfasts I have ever had!

Congratulations Lara!  I will email you and please respond within 24 hours so that we can get you on your way to picking out your Thermal Tote from Thirty-One Gifts!
(The winner was randomly selected using Random.org random number generator).
And, a special THANK YOU to Christy who so generously donated our Giveaway from Thirty-One Gifts.  Please be sure to visit her site at Thirty-One Gifts!  I noticed they are having quite a sale coming up!

Seattle, Tempe, and San Diego Area Adventure Run on July 6 (FREE with PRIZES) and Giveaway Reminder

Quick note with two timely items:

For my readers in the Seattle, WA, San Diego, CA or Tempe, AZ Area, Roadrunner Sports is hosting an Adventure Run with TONS of prizes/giveaways on Thursday, July 6, 2011.  I wish I lived closer to the Seattle store!  Best of all, registration is FREE!  If you go, let me know what goodies you were able to score!

And, don't forget, our Giveaway ends TONIGHT at 9 pm.  And don't forget to include your bonus entry!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New (Half) Year Resolutions!

Do you know what Friday is?  It is July 1, 2011, the official start to the second half of the year!  It got me thinking (what doesn't these days as I try to shun the vision of my bike crash on that one left turn.....oh, once again, I digress).  I typically don't do New Year Resolutions.  Well, not publicly anyway.  Frankly, I think all too often we put too much emphasis on them, but I do, in my head, usually have some goals.  But I have been thinking ahead already to the off season and what I would like to do to make sure I don't lose my training gains and can have an even better season next year.  Plus, I have a half marathon to train for in May next year!  Setting out my goals for the remainder of 2011 has had a much sunnier outlook than when I did them this past January.  I think perhaps considering New (Half) Year Resolutions when it comes to health and fitness has some serious potential.  Here are a few reasons why:

1.  Everyone won't be asking you how you are doing on your New Year Resolutions unless you tell them you made New (Half) Year Resolutions!  (Until this blog post rockets through the universe, right?)

2.  If you are inclined to join a gym, many gyms have great deals on summer enrollment because their numbers decrease during the summer.

3.  Facilities you may use will be less crowded.  With the nice weather and vacations, etc, many facilities are much less crowded during the summer.  So whether you are self conscious or just prefer to not wait for a machine, a swim lane, or potentially get bumped from a class at the gym, you will find much less crowding during the summer!

4.  Daylight is on your side.  First, the extra hours of daylight and sun always tend to give me more energy.  And, if you are like me, you may want to do a run or a swim with daylight and warmer temps.  Early morning workouts or late evening workouts are much easier during the summer!

5.  Nutritionally, fun and exciting fruits and vegetables are much more readily available and cheaper during the summer.  One of my goals is to "eat the rainbow" more consistently.  What better time to find readily available fruits and vegetables, with increased variety, than during their optimal growing season!  My guess is you find some choices you would not consider (or even find) during the winter.  If you find something in particular you can not live without during the winter months, you can freeze, can, etc the item to have all year long at the best prices and highest quality!

6.  Summer time allows you to find your bliss.  The type of activities available to try during the summer - walking, running, biking, swimming, team sports, etc - are much easier to find during the nicer weather.  Start sampling now and I bet you find your "must have" activity before the weather turns!

7.  By the time the winter blahs roll around, you will be so entrenched in your new routine it will be a habit and something you just HAVE to continue to complete your day.  Let's face it, when the alarm goes off on a cold, rainy (or even snowy) winter day at 5 am for a workout, it sure is hard to force yourself out of your nice warm bed.  But by that time, if you start now, I suspect you will find you appreciate or even look forward to that time for yourself and it will be much easier to get it done.

7.  Your Holiday 5 (you know, that 5 or even more pounds you put on during the holidays) will be much easier to avoid if you set up good habits NOW!

So, share YOUR New (Half) Year Resolution!  What's in it for you, you ask?  (well, besides a goal you can work towards?)  How about a BONUS ENTRY into our Giveaway!  If you have already entered our Giveaway, and comment here with a New (Half) Year Resolution, you will get an additional bonus entry!  I will add all the separate comments here to the end of the comments on the Giveaway to assign it a number for our random drawing. 

AND, PLEASE NOTE on the Giveaway page, each separate comment is only ONE entry.  That is the best way for me to make it random with a random number generator, so if you posted all the WONDERFUL things you did in one comment, try to go back and separate each action into a separate comment so I can give you credit for all the entries you obtained.  I will also email commenters separately to have them do that so they get the credit they deserve.  I will be clearer next time to avoid such confusion!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Look Back at Where I Have Been - It is NOT Pretty

I have been doing a lot of reflecting these past few days trying to convince myself I have come a long way and am ready for this weekend.  It was interesting/scary/outright terrifying to really take a hard look at where I have been in roughly the last 15 years.

I went from 150something pounds, less than 10% body fat, a size 6/8, training 3-4 hours a day (yeah, single, no kids!) and feeling like my body could handle almost anything that came my way (except for perhaps those 26.2 miles of a marathon!) to, at my heaviest, 225 lbs (ouch, I actually WROTE that), Lord knows HOW much body fat, a size 16/18, aching feet and knees even when I got up in the morning from carrying all that weight, not being able to hoist myself up on a wave runner when fell off (that had to be one of the MOST humiliating moments of my life), depressed and introverted.  It was at this time that I sat in a reproductive endocrinologist's office hearing her say "You know, if you just lost some weight, you might just get pregnant."  I got angry, I was humiliated, I thought to myself "I have PCOS you B***ch, that is why I am fat, that is why I can't have a baby!"  And, that night, I just cried.  Looking back, it was partially the PCOS, it was the fertility meds, but is also was just such a deep hatred of all that was going on and of myself that led to a whole host of poor choices that manifested itself in my obesity (WOW, I just WROTE THAT!) and poor health (and don't forget self-loathing).  There are so many things I can look back at and say "hmmmm, that was an issue" or "that was seriously a poor habit/choice."  Those individual items are all posts on their own, and will be forthcoming.

But that Dr's words haunted me.  I joined WeightWatchers at work and lost 22 lbs.  And, suddenly, I found myself pregnant with my first little girl.  I don't think it was purely a function of weight, but I do think it was one of the factors.  I gained 60 pounds with my pregnancy.  But once she was born, I focused on providing a healthy home for her.  We were active (not training type active, but "family" type active), we ate right because, well, what I ate fed her through breast milk.  And, surprisingly, by her first birthday, I was 12 pounds under where I started my pregnancy.  By the time she was 18 months old, I was down to 160-something pounds.  And, truly, it was all from a lifestyle change - not intensive training.  That was 4 years ago.

In the last three to four years, my weight has gone up and down with two more pregnancies.  But each time, for the most part, I have returned to the same lifestyle I had developed as a result of caring about my child's eating habits, and, for the most part, I have been able to control my weight within ten pounds. 

I started training briefly after my second daughter turned one year old, saw some results, but quickly became pregnant with my son.  Again, I picked up training when he was about 5 months old.  Today I am down to 160-something pounds, verging on the 150's.  I am once again a size 8.  And, I FEEL good.  But really, my training makes me feel great and strong, but is not the reason for my weight loss - in fact, I am gaining a bit as I gain muscle mass.  The key has been lifestyle changes.  Portion control, quality of food, looking at food as a fuel rather than a social event, controlling alcohol intake, cooking, and having a "family active" lifestyle.  These elements are all the things I hope to share!  All in good time, one post at a time.

For whatever reason, I felt it was time for me to put this out there.  I know I talk a lot about my triathlon training - that is MY thing.  It just IS.  But that is not what this is all about - you don't need to do a Tri.  [but if you want to learn more about it, bring on the questions, because YOU CAN do a Tri, just ask - and just believe it!].  But I want to share what I have learned, what I have seen, what I have suffered through and enjoyed, hoping that I can inspire others to have that "family active" lifestyles.  Frankly, training for an event can come and go, but your healthy "family active" lifestyle is forever.

So, in short, I confess:  all of the above.  Thoughts and comments are more than welcome.

(WOW, I can't believe I just WROTE all THAT!)

It's Like a Mental Hurricane!

As I reach just a few days before my first race (which is really my two legs of a two person relay team), my mind is like a hurricane, swirling with all kinds of irrational self doubt.  I started off saying I would be pleased if I just finished, but that sense of peace and goal of self confidence and just plain sense of accomplishment is gone.  Instead I am filled with jitters, butterflies, negative self talk and this image of me crashing into another cyclist at the ONLY left turn on the whole bike course.  I NEED to turn this around - PLEASE let me turn this around. 

In all honesty, I was going to do a "Turn It Around" post today, but I just was unable to put the strength into the "turn" part.  I am just downright nervous now.  It has to get better.  So, in honor of Turn It Around Tuesday, maybe some of my readers and followers can help by doing a Turn It Around of their own in the comments.  If you missed my first Turn It Around post and don't know what I am talking about, check it out HERE.  In the meantime, I will keep working on it!

And, DON'T FORGET to enter our very First Giveaway for the Lunch Tote from Thirty-One Gifts, the deadline is Thursday!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Being Nutritionally Prepared and OUR FIRST GIVEAWAY!!! [GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED]

Out of necessity, I began packing my lunch EVERY day about 4 years ago.  Eating out is just not convenient for me.  Sounds odd, but true.  I have found, however, that nothing is better than bringing my own lunch and snacks.  I have a choice when I pack my food for the day and if I choose wisely it is very easy to stick to my intended intake for the day.  Of course, on days where we celebrate Birthdays and other special events, I lose some control, but given the consistency of my intake day after day, those days really don't have an impact. 

When I was returning to work after the birth of my son, I needed a new lunch bag/milk bag.  A friend with Thirty-One Gifts mentioned a great special on thermal lunch totes.  I have always loved the look of Thirty-One items, particularly the casual totes and home organization items.  So, I decided to order one for myself.  I also decided to order one for each of my girls.  Our bags are pictured above.  I love mine.  It is the perfect size whether I take a sandwich or a Lean Cuisine and all my snacks.  Seriously, that is a LOT of snacks.  Most days my bag holds not only a sandwich, but a yogurt, a cheese stick or cottage cheese, two pieces of fruit, a granola bar, and occasionally other containers of fruit or nuts.  And, it is more than enough room to bring home a few bottles and my empty containers.  They clean up marvelously as well.  I was not surprised though that I loved my bag. 

What I was surprised about was how much my girls like them.  They are so proud to carry their bags whenever we head out for more than just a few errands.  We use them for packing lunches and snacks ALL. THE. TIME.  In fact, I have to hide them at home so they don't carry them around all day!  And, when I say they clean up well, if you knew my youngest daughter you would know it would HAVE to clean up well for us to still be using them 5 months after we got them!  The biggest reason I love these bags is since the girls are so proud to take them everywhere, we all prepare healthy snacks and avoid the fast food nightmare.  And, it is so much cheaper to be prepared with healthy snacks from home!  Who knew cute little bags could have such an impact on my kids, who always would ask to stop at McDonalds!

So, when I mentioned to my friend I wanted to do a post about how much I loved these bags, she was so gracious to offer to provide one for a GIVEAWAY!!  My first giveaway to my readers!  The winner will receive one thermal tote and get to choose their fabric!  So, here is how it will work:

The Giveaway will end at 9pm PST on Thursday, June 30.  I will choose a winner at random from the comments left below and post the winner here on Friday, July 1.  I will send you an email (so be sure to include an email address) and will need you to respond to me within 48 hours to receive directions on how to order your thermal tote!  There are several ways to enter, the first entry is mandatory and each additional item below will give you one additional entry:

1.  MANDATORY entry:  Visit Thirty-One Gifts and tell us in a comment which fabric you would choose for your thermal tote and tell us what would be your favorite healthy snack to carry in it.

2.  Subscribe to my blog via email or your favorite feed and leave a comment telling me you did so.  You must confirm your subscription.

3.  Like From the Glider Rocker to the Finish Line on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did so.

4.  Share this Giveaway on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you did so.

5.  Follow From the Glider Rocker to the Finish Line on Twitter and leave a comment telling me you are a follower with your Twitter name.

6.  Retweet this Giveaway on Twitter and paste it in a comment below.

7.  Email Christy at Thirty-One through her Thirty-One web page to subscribe to her email list and leave a comment below telling me you did so.

Good Luck Everyone! 

Disclaimer:  This Giveaway has been provided by Christy at Thirty-One.  I have and will not receive any compensation for this Giveaway or my review of the thermal lunch totes.  All opinions offered on the thermal lunch totes are my own.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Update on Search for the Perfect Shoe and Running Outside of the Box!

Guess what?  I didn't fall off the treadmill.  I did, however, get sized for running shoes.  The whole process was relatively painless, although I have to admit running barefoot on a treadmill where others run barefoot kind of freaked me out.  Basically, the process measures your foot size (apparently I have been sizing my shoes to small!) and evaluating how you distribute weight on your foot and then how your foot performs when running.  There were no major surprises except that while standing still I actually have arches!  When I run, however, I have extreme pronation, which I knew.  So, I am in a stability shoe, and still went with the Asics brand.  I have liked them overall. 

I ran today during lunch, since I slept through my run this morning!  I had planned on running around my office in a few loops of the streets within a half mile.  However, my boss persuaded me not to do that but instead take a 10 minute drive to a safer area that is on Commencement Bay.  Oh, it was glorious.  So beautiful and truly reminded me why I wanted to return to the Northwest - I was so thankful my boss pushed me to think outside the box and actually find a nice spot to run.  And, I did the entire run at my best per mile pace yet!  I bet it is the new shoes, they just make me faster!!!  Actually, it probably has more to do with the fact that I ran 4 miles with people the other night at my training that are faster runners than I and I was able to pace myself with them and see where I needed to be.  Just a bit more improvement and I will get my 5K in under 30 minutes.  I don't think it will happen by the time I do my relay since I have to taper a bit next week.

And, more exciting news - I have my FIRST giveaway coming up - Keep an eye out over the weekend I will put all the details on here, but think: Creative and Healthy Meal planning!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The 5K Run: A Universal Motivator!

I now call a 5K run a universal motivator.  Why?  Well, it is simple - it is a motivator for so many people from varied backgrounds and at varied training levels, and, in my experience, one never regrets whatever 5K event they particpate in.  Here is why I reached this conclusion:

1.  Anyone can do this event.  Seriously, 5Ks are generally low key, stroller and pet friendly, and a lot of people WALK.  Now, you need to check all this out when you see an event you are interested in and if it doesn't fit for you, I am willing to bet you can find another 5K event that same day in your area that is a fit for you!  Walk, run, or walk/run and you are moving - every step counts and it is a great start to becoming more active or even, gulp, a runner!

2.  If you want to train to run a 5K there are lots of FREE options!  First, if you have tennis shoes in a reasonably good condition, some pants you can move in, and a road/field/sidewalk/whatever you can train for a 5K.  I know people who train for 5K's at the mall, in their neighborhood, at a lakeside trail, or strictly on a treadmill where NO ONE can see them!  You can also search for training plans that take you from the couch to a 5K in small baby steps.  Google "Couch to 5K" and you will find hundreds of free plans.  One free plan I found and like is this free plan at Beginnertriathlete.com.  Are you a tech junkie?  I know people doing a Couch to 5K training program (C25K) on their iphones and ipods, and probably a million other tech gadgets I don't own.  Googling "C25K podcast" or "C25K android" produced results, but I can't speak as to their value.  As I understand it the program will run while you listen to music and will tell you when to run and when to walk over a specified period of time taking you through workouts that incorporate longer and longer bursts of running over a series of weeks until you are running the whole thing (or almost the whole thing).  I wish I had an iphone or ipod!  And then I wish I had the time to learn how to use it!

3.  5K events are often and cheap!  Registering for a 5K is really inexpensive compared to other events.  Many events are twenty dollars or less, or are available by fundraising for a particular charity.  And, 5K events, at least in my area, are available (in multiples) EVERY weekend!  If you need help finding an event, you can just search on 5K and your town, or look on sites that are used for registering for such events like Active.com.  You can also look in your local paper, browse the bulletin board at your local sports equipment stores, or just ask someone at your gym.  Many running oriented sports retailers have free fun runs on the weekends as well.  One such store in my neighborhood is Roadrunner Sports

4.  Even if you are training for or running longer events or multisport events, a 5K event mixes up training and adds race day elements to your training.  By adding a 5K event into your training, you can find race day motivation to push harder and just have FUN, which can be sometimes hard to do as you push toward increased endurance levels.  Furthermore, during rest weeks or taper weeks in your training they can add some spice when you are frustrated by having to hold yourself back.  I was talking last night with an individual who was on a taper week in preparation for this weekend's Ford Ironman Coeur d'Alene.  He was antsy to race and antsy about his taper week of training, but grinned as he said he PR'd his 5K this week.  Even at his level of training a 5K was a fun and motivational element in his taper week.  Furthermore, if you are struggling to reach a new pace level, like I am, running with others in a 5K race can allow you to mentally mark that higher pace for yourself so you can implement that pace in your training. 

So, if you are looking to begin a more active lifestyle, but just need that one thing to help you take that first step, whether it be walking or running, I challenge you to look into a 5K event!  Or, step back from your focus on longer events and spice up your training with a 5K event and you may add a new PR of your own!  And, if you are so inclined, tell me about it here and keep me posted on how it all works out! 

ALSO, if you are using a C25K app, as I know a few of my readers are, and can offer your review of the app, please share your views and recommendations in a comment or via email so I can share them on the blog!

And just a reminder, tomorrow I will fill everyone in on how my search for my perfect running shoe transpired and whether I fell off the treadmill at the store!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Search for the Perfect Running Shoe!

I need new running shoes.  I have always been a buy the sale shoe off the shelf kind of gal.  I think I need to perhaps move beyond that practice.  So, I am reluctantly going to go to my favorite running store Roadrunner Sports to get fitted for running shoes.  Why am I reluctant?  Well, they make you run on a treadmill in the middle of the store.  I am that self-conscious!  I get butterflies just writing about it - how ridiculous is that!  I will be running in less than two weeks in front of a whole bunch of spectators at a race, and then two weeks later in one of the most festive race weekends in Washington!  I better get over that whole issue soon!

I know finding the right shoe is priceless.  I found a great shoe by chance, which has made running a whole lot easier.  I do think I can do even better if I get a formal fitting, particularly since I have very flat feet and week joints, so good shoes are absolutely necessary.  Best of all, the evaluation is free (well, in terms of dollars, not irrational stress!).  Now, bear in mind, I expect I will need to talk the person down into my budget range, but that is ok, it is a moderate budget for new shoes.

Even better, my local store at Kent Commons has ladies night Thursday night!  Come out and join in on the fun.  VIP members get 20% off and they are promising GREAT giveaways! 

I will update everyone on how the shoe hunt and fit go - please send any "don't fall on the treadmill in front of all those people" vibes my way! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Looking for GREAT gear deals? Check out the new daily deal site from Active.com

I was forwarded this a few days ago and hadn't shared yet.  Active.com, a site many use to register for activities such as fun runs, races, etc and which is a great resource for ALL types of information on exercise, activities, and even nutrition, now has a daily deal site similar to Groupon!  They recently had a deal on triathlon clothing (which, dear Husband, if you are reading I DID pass on - I promise, no more training clothes except for......).  Today's deal caught my eye because I could use some swim stuff - check it out - this a great deal and I LOVE TYR swim equipment and suits for swim workouts. 

Check out Active.com's Daily Schwaggle and let me know what you think!


Monday, June 20, 2011

What I learned on my blog vacation!

It has once again been some time since I wrote here.  It has all been for fantastic reasons.  I have so many things I want to post and have been collecting a whole laundry list of items/ideas/information/resources that, frankly, I just don't know where to start.  I think I will start with just a recap of all I have learned the past 11 or so days.

Training with a friend (or even a stranger) is far superior to winging it by yourself.  I was fortunate enough to be included on an invite to swim with a group of awesome ladies at our local lake.  I had just gotten my new wetsuit and wanted desperately to get in the water but, for obvious safety reasons, didn't want to go by myself.  I jumped at the chance to swim with a group of experienced triathletes when that chance arrived at my inbox.  It was a fantastic experience.  We didn't swim far, but I got in the water, built confidence, and learned I could tolerate the cold (the water was somewhere around 59 degrees).  In addition to that, I met some wonderful people, gained some training partners, AND found myself registered as a two person relay team for an early race!

Then, this past Sunday, I set out for my brick workout by myself.  For those that don't know, a brick workout ties two sports together in sequence, the bike and run, and it lovingly termed the brick for that oh so lovely feeling in your quads as you switch from the bike to the run and the body fights to transfer blood out of the quads to the hamstrings and other valuable run muscles.  So as I set off for my 14 mile bike and then run I was actually dreading it.  Separately, they are fine - well, I LOVE the bike and tolerate the run (have I mentioned I am not a runner?  HA!), but transitioning is dreadful until your legs adjust.  About three minutes into my bike, I was entering an intersection and turned around to see a bike behind me.  Quickly I moved right thinking "where did they come from and did I just swerve into their path?"  As I was about to offer an apology I was met with a "Hi!"  I looked to see a rider wearing the same jersey as I was wearing, our team uniform!  She was out for her long ride and, long story short, we rode 7 miles together before my turnaround.  It was great, I shaved 4 minutes off my split time and got some great advice from a seasoned triathlete.  She had quite a story and long list of impressive accomplishments.  I was so thankful for her company and she left me with a lot of great things to think about on the remainder of my ride and my run.  It was by far my best brick workout.  One of the fringe benefits to wearing the uniform (and, for me, my ONLY long sleeved bike jersey) for a workout!

Even though swimming is easy on the joints and they say you can do it every day, three swim workouts in a row can throw my body way off.  On my plan, my typical swim days are Monday and Wed, with an occasional additional day, but not in sequence, thrown in.  So, last week I did my Monday workout (1300m in the pool) and then got the great chance to swim in the lake (see above!).  So, out I went on Tuesday night to swim.  We are not exactly sure of the distance, we *maybe* swam a 1/4 mile, so 400m?  It wasn't a distance type of workout, but rather acclimation.  Wednesdays are my coached workouts, which through last week were only swim workouts.  So, Wednesday night I headed to my coached swim which was a rough week.  I lost count at 1200m as to the distance and was getting my behind kicked in the workout.  Our final set were sprints against our lane partners.  I had been experiencing some minor cramping in my right foot, but that had subsided and although I was tired, I joked with my lane partner that he had better watch it because with fins my kick alone would power me through (we had put on fins as a means to mix it up for the sprints and focus on our arm strokes in a sprint situation).  So as the coach sent us off, I did a strong push of the wall and WHAM! - massive cramp in my left calf.  I kept swimming only to be in excruciating pain, and humbled by being beat by a full body length, at the wall.  And, in the true spirit of not wanting to look like a total idiot, I set up for the next sprint and did the same thing - the cramp just kept getting worse and worse.  By the time I finished the second sprint I was in tears and afraid I wouldn't even make it out of the pool without help.  With some stretching, however, I sheepishly swam 100m of breaststroke to move the muscles a bit to help with lactic acid buildup and got out.  Thankfully that was the end of our hour workout.  After a little nutrition and electrolyte lecture from my coach, along with the realization that perhaps three swim workouts in a row might not be the best idea, I literally limped home.  I also had the joy of waking up the next morning with a lot of soreness in my whole body. 

I need a little help and supplementation for adequate nutrition.  I hate sports drinks.  I hate the perception that in order to perform well you have to buy these expensive engineered products to guzzle, gulp, mix, and pop in your mouth to complete a workout or race.  I just don't didn't believe in the whole sports nutrition industry.  That was until my massive cramp episode and further research.  I still, frankly, believe that in most cases, for recreational athletes, most of the stuff on the market is crap unnecessary.  [but, read my disclaimer!  LOL]  I am leery of products until I learn more about their content and how much sugar/fructose is jammed into the drink/powder/gel/chew/pill.  But, for me, the bottom line is I don't think I can eat enough to provide some of the needs my body has.  First, I am still breastfeeding my huge baby boy.  I sometimes work long and crazy days, which can cause me to skip snacks and, on the very rare occasion, lunch.  I have also significantly increased my activity level over the past few months and built lean muscle mass that has higher demands for energy.  I also have a history of low sodium levels and have increased, dramatically, the amount of water I drink (for example, on a light workout day, I still consume 120-140 oz of water a day!)  So, nutrition right now is a crap shoot for me.  The cramping and other issues I have had (cravings, unusual fatigue, headaches) have led me to believe my nutrition needs to be re-balanced (and, no, I am not expecting a 4th baby!).  I am working on it through research and trial and error with some nutrition products designed for consumption during workouts.  I was recently provided with some samples of gels, chews, drinks and the like.  I tried them these last two weekends on my longer workouts with decent results, but not anything I can say is proof they work (although if you can get past the "snot like" consistency and fructose, Powerbar's chocolate gel is YUMMY!).  I am still hoping to learn some tricks that will allow me to provide the missing elements with whole foods, but that will take some time to "test drive."

There will always be Negative Nellies, critics, and those that, well, just would love to see you fail.  No matter what I do I have to realize there will be people in my life, whether I want them there or not, who will not have well wishes for me or my success.  It is a fact of life, one I cannot change.  It is not an indicator of a fault of mine, nor is it an indicator of their faults.  It JUST IS.  I need to remember to employ the patience and tolerance I try to instill in others around me when I hear them talk ill of others.  I always try to look at it from the other person's position, be in the other person's shoes.  In the case of those that are negative about my pursuits, goals, passions, or general lifestyle, I need to do the same thing and realize that they are never going to understand or be able to stand in my shoes and "get" my life.  While it appears they don't want to even attempt to just "leave it alone" because it would take away what appears to be a source of entertainment/amusement/gratification they get from remaining negative or judging me, I need to be the bigger person and just ignore it.  It is an energy suck.  They haven't been in my shoes, nor I in theirs, and they have no idea of the full suite of elements of my life, nor I of theirs.  The result is two-fold:  give them a break because they are not fully informed, and don't take it as true (the opinions or criticisms they put forth) because, well, they are not fully informed.  Basically, give them a break and give myself a break and just block it out - it is unnecessary noise.

Focusing some thought energy on those I admire is priceless.  I have been thinking a lot about people I admire.  For a variety of reasons, one of which is blog related, but mostly because I have been hearing about so many great things going on in my friends' lives.  Two families I know recently finalized their Forever Families after a long and uncertain time.  One friend has been committed to becoming more active in their lifestyle with things that interest them and their family and has successfully lost a whole bunch of weight, inches, and sizes!  Another friend trained for and ran a Warrior Dash and just appeared to have the greatest experience!  Another friend has lost 114lbs in less than one year and accomplished amazing fitness goals!  The list just goes on and on.  Thinking of my friends successes, their patience, their endurance, the unending perseverance has been priceless for my spirit and my strength!

I really would LOVE for people to share their ideas on topics I write about on this blog.  I know I can learn from those that read this blog, and I KNOW many of you are people I admire so I invite you to join in, even if you disagree with me.  It is all about learning for me, broadening my horizons, and hopefully providing at least one thing for someone to think about, ponder, or try!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Patience, Respect, and Perseverance leading to Sustainability

I have been thinking a lot about where I am right now and how I want the next few months to play out.  For my brain and personality, it is important for me to see measurable results or progress and equally important for me to evaluate my goals frequently to stay on track.  It is just how my brain works.  I am already in a bit of a rut - an enjoyable rut, with lots planned for training (both formal and informal) but I have an itch to see where this is all going.  Thinking about waiting until the end of July to see it all put together in a formal race is just killing me!

So, I am considering adding an earlier race.  A pace setting exercise.  An exercise to set a baseline from which to move forward.  I am ready to see some results here, but I don't want to rush to be set back by an injury.

My thoughts have centered around these three things:  Patience, Respect, and Perseverance. 

Patience:  I lack this in most areas of my life, but most of all when considering patience with myself.  I want to excel, exceed expectations, and, frankly, shine!  I struggle to maintain patience to just let the training process move forward.  This can be an issue in any physical goal.  For example, you want to finish a 30 minute jog, you want to see some of your abs emerge after countless crunches, you want to see the pounds come off on the scale.  But, the bottom line is you need patience sometimes.  It doesn't happen overnight.  Our society, particularly with the reality TV side of weight loss, is geared to think it is some magical transformation that literally happens overnight or, perhaps even in the hour it takes to watch the standard TV show on the topic.  Our minds are bombarded with quick fixes, but in reality, there are none.  So, part of my analysis in deciding whether to add another race will be to look at whether my desire to register comes from a lack of patience.

Respect:  Respect the sport and respect the efforts of those who are successful in the sport.  In my situation, I need to continually remind myself to respect the sport.  It is challenging and requires work to get the ultimate reward: crossing a finish line. I firmly believe you need to respect the discipline you are trying to master and the costs of mastering it.  If you fail to respect it, well, in turn it will not respect you, or your body, and injury will result.  For example, I used to think the swim would be easy.  After all, I swam all the time when I was younger, I trained lifeguards on a lake waterfront, I was trained to dive by a Navy dive instructor that was insistent on strong swimming skills.  But then I saw my first race with the open water swim and the toll it took on good athletes particularly under rough conditions.  I got in the pool and realized just how hard it was and how far behind I was from the moderately strong swimmers.  I have a lot more respect for the swim now, and, frankly, it is rewarding me with measurable progress.  It is a strange concept, but it is the best way to describe it.  Further, respect those that are participating and successful in the sport or activity.  Don't compare yourself to others.  Don't rush to do it and register to prove something to someone else.  Do it for yourself (thereby respecting yourself) and respect the fact that others are out there conquering it through hard work and determination.  Disrespecting the efforts of others and taking an attitude that is disrespectful of their time and energy will only hurt you, through injury and mental anguish, in the end.  When I talk to myself about respecting others efforts and hard work, it is not in the context that I can't accomplish it, but just that I need to put in the work required of ME to do so and not base it on others.  Work on MY weaknesses, embrace MY strengths, and cross the finish line for me.  To do it for any other reason will only result in registration fees paid for races that are never run.  So, my analysis right now is if I move forward with an earlier race, am I still respecting the sport and respecting the efforts of others that have them racing right now.

Perseverance:  Is my desire to move forward to a formal race formed out of true readiness or just a lack of perseverance to follow the process necessary to get there.  It is hard to continue to push through sometimes.  To keep going 6 days a week on a building training plan requires true perseverance when the shining moment to see how it all pays off is 6 weeks away (and I have already been doing this for months).  So, my analysis here is to question whether I am just lacking the mental state to persevere or am I truly ready to enter a formal race. 

I am not sure, yet, how to answer these questions above, but I do think this is something to examine no matter what your goals when you start to question the value of what you are doing and where you are taking it.  Of course, as I was thinking of this I get an email from one of the people I respect the most in the sport saying "Go for it, you are more than ready!"  I need to make a decision soon, but will take the time to evaluate it appropriately.  I want this lifestyle I am creating to be sustainable, and I hope my considerations of the above points will lead to that sustainability in the end.

What am I missing here in my considerations?  Or, am I, in my usual style, just over thinking it?  (and, yeah, it has been one of those "reflection" days!)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Turning It Around and The Things They Say

I am the queen of negative self-speak - meaning most things I think in my head about myself are negative.  I always take the glass half full approach in evaluating myself.  It is not healthy, and has been something I have struggled with my whole life.  It can, and often does, sabotage my goals.  So, in an effort to not do that, I am practicing a little "turn it around." I am going to post some of it here to get it out there and keep myself accountable.  I would love to hear some of my readers do the same in comments below!  Turn it around is to actually write out (or say) that negative thought and turn it into a positive one.  When I do that I can usually turn the negative attitude or thought into something that motivates me onward toward my goals.

1.  My training is taking away time from my family and that makes me a bad parent.  Turning it around:  Yes, I do lose some time with my family, but the positive impacts have been enormous and measurable.  For example, my oldest daughter, now 5, wants to do a kids triathlon this year.  My youngest daughter, now 2.5 years, sat down next to me while I was stretching for my run last weekend.  After coming out of my stretch I look over and she is doing the exact same stretch as I was doing, and correctly I might add.  Children learn by example, and what a great example I can provide.  And, I am much more patient, happy, and available to my children when I am with them when I feel energized and mentally rested from a good workout. 

2.  I didn't plan my summer/season well enough and now am left with a gap and lack of motivation to carry me through to my first race.  Turning it around:  I planned my summer conservatively and with a respect for my time and physical abilities at the time I sat down to plan.  I have actually exceeded the limited expectations I had for myself and now may be able to throw in an early race.  I should be proud of working so hard to do so and look for the best way to adjust the season to get it done!

3.  I STILL haven't broken the 30 minute mark on the 5K and probably never will at this rate.  Turning it around:  I have come a long way for this non-runner.  And, I am soooooo close to breaking that time and just need to keep working at it.  My form and endurance on a run (read:  my joint pain) is so much better and I actually almost like it now.  By my first race I am sure I will be there, if not well below there.  And, I have no where to go but faster, right?

So, those are the top three for me today - the list is long, but I will leave it there.  Anyone care to join me?  I would love to hear you all "turn it around."  It is a fun exercise really, and hopefully will become a habit for me so I stop sabotaging myself!

AND - another one of my favorite things:  The things they say!  By that I mean the things my kids say, which usually crack me up.  Here I will pretty much keep this to the subject of this blog, or else I could spend hours writing out all the incredibly insightful, and hilarious, things my two oldest kids say!

Anyway, I told my oldest daughter I was going to train again for a race this year.  She complains "awwwww" as she hugs my thigh - "then you won't be squishy anymore!"  I just busted out laughing.  I promised her that I would probably remain somewhat "squishy."  I mean I AM 40!  Anyway, it just made me laugh.  (of course I was also thinking "SERIOUSLY?  I have somehow been blessed to get 15 lbs UNDER where I was when I got pregnant in less than 7 months and she calls me 'SQUISHY'?")  Gotta love the kiddos!  Feel free to share some of your little ones' insights!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Power of a Uniform!

As some may remember, I joined a Triathlon team in 2010 but two months in I found out I was expecting my third child.  Well, to make a long story short, I joined again this year.  Being part of that network has been so inspiring and led to some great opportunities to learn, workout, and just break out of my shell with regard to training.  It has been the best decision I could have made, for my personality, for training for multisport races.  The goals I have through this team keep me going and keep me accountable.  Being part of a team is priceless for me.

Well, my uniform arrived today.  My wonderful husband was kind enough to send me a picture at work to keep me motivated, and I can't tell you how excited I am and how proud I will be to wear it.  Here it is in all its glory:

Maybe I will have enough courage to get a picture of me in it to post as well (I am still working on coming out of that shell!)

For local readers who are interested in joining a fun group of people interested in multisport, check out Raise the Bar!

Where do we go from here?

I know, I have been gone a LONG time.  Let's just say adjusting to three little kiddos has been, well, a tough adjustment.  We have had a lot of changes at home other than our little/not so little addition, too much to go into here, but they have really taken a lot of time to iron out.

On a good note, I have returned to training, with a 5K anticipated in July, my first official tri in July, a second in August, and possibly a third in September.  And......wait for it......a half marathon on the registration books for May 2012!  With all that, I figured I had better get my butt in gear if I want to survive this season!  But, more on that later (much more!).

I want to start my return with some thoughts on what this blog is about - essentially, why am I here?  I have done a lot of blog cruising for about a month.  I wanted to get a feel for what is out there, what do people blog about, what do I want to blog about, and who else blogs about what I want to blog about.  Make sense?  Well, it did to me at the time.  Also, I needed to figure out why having this blog was important to ME!  Not that my current readers or future readers won't shape the life of the blog, but for me to stick with it it must be something that is important to ME and furthers MY training and life, otherwise, I just won't be able to put my heart into it and it won't be all that interesting to anyone. 

So, to start, what is it that this blog IS? 

  • I want to be able to chronicle my journey to something I think is pretty great:  achieving some fairly aggressive goals for taking my life back through physical fitness while juggling the everyday commitments and struggles of being a parent and being a working parent.  I firmly believe that there are many many parents or even adults without children struggling with exactly the same things I struggle with daily, sometimes more so than I do, and I think I am beginning to find ways to deal with those struggles and I would like to share them with others.
  • I want to write about and share ideas on items I am passionate about:  finding health and fitness as a parent, with my family, and having that become a lifestyle that we live by without thinking about it.
  • I want to motivate other people to take charge of their health and lifestyle and feel good about it in a way that is theirs to choose and suits their individual circumstances.  I want to empower people with knowledge and the self confidence to do it now rather than later (or even before it is too late).
  • I want to be held accountable.  This is selfish, but writing here helps me be accountable. If I write it, I visualize it.  If I visualize it, I WILL DO IT!
And, what this blog IS NOT:

  • This is not a self promotion, or worse, a delusional attempt to be someone else.  I have seen some great blogs in my research, but I have also seen some that are an attempt to become something that one is not.  Or attempts to live in the past, being someone one used to be.  I have seen a lot of half truths, or worse, bold faced lies and I refuse to go there.  If I can't be myself and be honest with myself, and therefore my readers, then this blog has no worthwhile take away message for anyone.
  • This blog is not a judgment on others as to how they live their lives.  I am in NO position to judge anyone for their choices.  In my life, I have a rule:  I don't judge others unless it has a direct impact on me and my children.  So, for instance, I don't judge a drug addict, unless it impacts me or my children.  If someone brings drugs into my life or my children's life, I have a right to be judgmental and prevent it.  Otherwise, it is their choice and they must live with the consequences.  Same here, I strive to be non-judgmental in my opinions.  As I write this, however, I realize what a difficult task that will be.
So, there we have it - some goals and "un-goals."  Now, all I can hope for is the time to share my thoughts, goals, ideas, failures, and successes.  I can't wait to get back to some substantive posts and some fun ways to work through all the challenges of this journey!

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Happy New Year Everyone!  I am ramping up to more substantive posts now that I have had my little boy (born October 29, 2010 weighing in at 10lbs 2 oz and 22.5 inches long!).  I wanted to make everyone aware of some deals I saw this past week!  First, Costco had a whole host of Jillian Michaels fitness dvds for 7.99.  I picked up the 30 Day Shred and 6 Week Ab DVD.  I like Jillian Michaels and LOVE the fact that her workouts are 20 - 30 minutes long so they are easy to fit in. 

Second, in the Northwest, Fred Meyer had some really nice hand weights (coated with handles) on sale this past week.  I suspect nationally you can find similar sales in the new year.  Investing in some cheap handweights will allow you to expand your workouts at home for cheap.  Of course, you can also use soup cans, canned fruit, etc, as handweights for almost free if you keep a stocked pantry!  I just decided to splurge on some weights with little handles that are easier to manage!

I look forward to catching up this New Year as I once again begin my journey from the Glider Rocker to the Finish Line!

So, in the spirit of finding more excellent exercise DVDs - what are your favorite DVDs? 

One other idea:  Have a weekly or bi-weekly workout girls' hour - get together with friends and try out each other's exercise videos - we all have them, and joining in with friends and making it a social event will cause us to actually USE them!  And, maybe share a healthy recipe as a post workout snack!