Exceed Your Limits!

One Step and One Day at a Time!

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.