Monday, January 28, 2008

Random Thoughts

  • A 12 miler in 13 degrees at an 8:38/mile pace is doable. I did this Friday morning at 4:30 a.m. with Holly, Tim, and Lee. Tim and Lee are fast and just crazy enough to show up at the rec center at 4:30 a.m. for a 12 miler too. Holly and I plugged along, nice and chatty for the first 8 miles trying to keep our lips from freezing. Then, in Holly's words, I "shut off the talking switch and became very focused on each step". She found it comical how I do that, and I guess it is pretty funny. It's like, when I start getting worried about finishing a run at a certain pace I stop expending all unnecessary energy - talking being one of them. I did the same thing to Erin at RNRAZ - I just got really quiet and focused near the end. We did the run in 1:43, I believe, and that included a fair amount of hills. It was on my BT plan to only run 1hr 30 minutes, so I guess that is fairly close. Nobody else that I knew of was running less than that, and the moral support of other people in 13 degrees was well worth running a few extra miles! My nose ran continuously, and I wiped it constantly with my water proof glove on my right hand. When I finished, it was covered in ice. This was my coldest longish run all year, maybe my coldest run ever. For reference, I wore an ear warmer and toboggan on my head, 2 pairs of gloves(UA coldgear gloves underneath Eddie Bauer water proof gloves), 4 layers up top not counting the sports bra(coldgear shirt, l/s tech shirt, Nike track jacket, & fleece vest), 1 layer on the bottom(UA coldgear tights only - I needed something on top of them as my legs were frozen), and 2 pairs of socks kept my feet toasty.
  • I CAN be decent at mountain biking, but I'm gonna have to remember how, and be confident that I can. I gave it another whirl Saturday morning with Leslie and J.O. This time we went to the AEDC trails instead of Tim's Ford. We took off, and I immediately fell behind. Once again trying to "steer" the bike instead of "riding" it. They'd stop and wait, and then I'd catch up. This went on several times, and then I finally relaxed a little and started going with the flow and leaning my body instead of turning the handlebars so much. I was able to stay with them for the last, oh, 7 or 8 miles of the 14 - barely. The 14 miles took 1:46 total time and 1:39 ride time. My BT plan was calling for a 3hr 30 minute ride on this day. I guess I could have gone home and got on the trainer, or rode another 14 miles on the mtb, but I didn't. At some point, as in like - now, I'm going to have to start meeting these prescribed times and distances on this plan, but can someone tell me why I should be riding 3.5 hours on the bike in January for a half-ironman in May? Geez. I think this coming Saturday calls for the same thing. Maybe I'll slow it down some and double the distance. On the mtb that is. I'm not going to ride my trainer for 3:30 hours right now. Not unless I absolutely have to. And don't even start about getting out on the road in 25 degrees. Not for any serious length of time anyways.
  • J.O. and Leslie on the trail
  • Stuff gets lost in the mail sometimes. I ordered a snorkel for swim class and needed it Sunday. Unfortunately, it got "misrouted" in the mail. According the USPS tracking service, they still don't know where it is. I opted not to go to swim sans the snorkel since that's what class was about. It was probably a good decision since I picked up a stomach bug from Briar and started feeling it about the time I would have been jumping into the pool. Nevertheless, I want that damned $25 snorkel asap!
  • Tracking everything you eat works. Atleast it is right now. I've been using the SparkPeople website to track everything I eat, and I've lost 2 lbs in 2 weeks. Not anything miraculous I know, but that means I haven't gained any weight also which is a good thing. I haven't made any really major changes, other than a green drink here and there for breakfast and being more conscience about what I'm shoving into my mouth. Because when type in "Cornbread x 2 pieces" and realize you consumed 346 calories with those 2 pieces you'll think twice before you reach for that second piece the next time.
  • I didn't go see Spirit of the Marathon movie. I wanted to, but I was going to have to drive 1:15 to get there and not get home until 11:00 p.m. before my Friday morning 4:30 a.m. run. Check out Rae's blog for the run down.
  • A few minutes of podcasting fame makes ya feel pretty darn special. So I'm riding my trainer Thursday night listening to TacBoy 'n Bigun's latest podcast, and they start talking about me!! And Trimama's screaming for me at the finish line of RNRAZ! So I kicked it up to 20 mph while they were talking about me, ofcourse. Funny stuff that podcast is...Briar was wanting to know 'what in the WORLD I was listening to' that made me burst out in laughter every 5 minutes. Except he said "bust" not "burst" because we live in the south, ya know.
  • Happy is where it's at. I just feel, in general, happy lately. We all have highs and lows, and I've had some highs and lows lately throughout this "Happy-ness," but I've seemed to be able to remain quite happy even during the lows. In spite of the cold weather, in spite of the dismal economy and the effect it has on hubby's business, in spite of all the other "not perfect" things in my life, I feel a real sense of calm about me lately. I don't exactly know what to attribute it to. Maybe it's the heart to heart talks I've had with God lately, and knowing that He understands what kind of place I'm in with my faith even if others do not. Maybe it's the knowledge that sooner or later spring will be here. Maybe it's the way that looking into the eyes of my kids and realizing how blessed we are just takes my breath away. Maybe it's the absence of a lot of outside things in our lives - few sports going on, few obligations to meet. Maybe it's just the calm before the storm. Or maybe it's the magic of a sub-4 marathon! ;)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Stats from Rock N Roll Arizona


Activity
Route:--Elev. Avg:1188 ft
Location:Phoenix, AZElev. Gain:+72 ft
Date:01/13/08Up/Downhill: [+337/-265]
Time:07:43 AMDifficulty:3.5 / 5.0
Performance

Distance: 26.26 miles

Time:3:56:23
Speed:6.7 mph

Pace:9' 00 /mi

Calories:3676

Map
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
Splits
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
Gain
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
19' 11+0' 116.5-0.1+3 ft
28' 46-0' 146.8+0.2+6 ft
38' 54-0' 066.7+0.1+13 ft
48' 54-0' 066.7+0.1+16 ft
58' 54-0' 066.7+0.1+19 ft
68' 53-0' 076.8+0.1+9 ft
78' 46-0' 146.8+0.2+13 ft
88' 50-0' 106.8+0.1+16 ft
98' 54-0' 066.7+0.1+6 ft
109' 03+0' 036.6-0.0+36 ft
118' 58-0' 026.7+0.0+39 ft
128' 39-0' 216.9+0.3-30 ft
138' 44-0' 166.9+0.2-29 ft
148' 53-0' 076.8+0.1-10 ft
158' 55-0' 056.7+0.1+19 ft
168' 55-0' 056.7+0.1+39 ft
179' 02+0' 026.6-0.0+10 ft
189' 05+0' 056.6-0.1+9 ft
198' 48-0' 126.8+0.1-13 ft
208' 57-0' 036.7+0.0-16 ft
219' 01+0' 016.7-0.0-16 ft
229' 13+0' 136.5-0.2-13 ft
239' 13+0' 136.5-0.2-26 ft
249' 19+0' 196.4-0.2-13 ft
259' 19+0' 196.4-0.2+3 ft
269' 19+0' 196.4-0.2-23 ft
end8' 40-0' 206.9+0.20 ft
Versus average of 9' 00 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hold Up

We're moving forward. We've checked off the Sub-4 goal. We've got back on the mountain bike, even if it was painful. We're no longer sore. We're back to running and easily hitting sub 9 minute miles. Back in swim class too. Thinking about the Gulf Coast Half Iron and then onto IMFL. We're taking steps forward, we're making progress, we're WHAT?!? HOLD. UP.

Report cards came out for the second 9 weeks. The 5th grader's didn't fair nearly as well this time around as it did the first 9 weeks when it was all A's. What. Happened?

All of the sudden getting in that 2000yd swim seemed not so important. Some priorities got shifted, some privileges were revoked, we spent some time talking, and then we headed to the Pizza Hut buffet for carbo-therapy full of love.

What a balancing act this is. Trial and error. One day it seems I am too hard on my boys. The next day I obviously haven't been hard enough. But what are you to do except to start over and try again? Back to micro-managing the homework assignments.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Recovering Slowly

Oh man. I've been hurtin'.

I knew I had put forth my best effort, but I didn't realize it was gonna cripple me for a week thereafter. Sore. Quads. They are finally better now, like 9 days later...but I couldn't even resemble a jog until last Thursday when I painfully jogged 2 miles with The Flash. I even pulled my hamstring just walking around the hotel on Monday morning.

Obviously, I didn't eat like I should have after the race. They had oranges, but they weren't peeled or sliced and who wants to deal with peeling an orange just after running 26.2 miles? I did drink an Accelerade while walking through the finish area, and I ate a Popsicle, but evidently it wasn't enough to promote recovery during the next 5 hours until I made my way over to grab a Little Caeser's Pizza some Flat Tire beer. And I suppose sitting still surfing the net and listening to Tac & Bigun's podcast the rest of the night didn't help the stiffness any. I shoulda got my butt up and climbed Camelback Mtn with IronJenny.

Anyways...I finally decided I was okay and made plans to go mtn biking with Leslie Saturday morning at Tim's Ford. It's a 14 mile trail. And it's even longer when you spend a quarter of it pushing your bike because your weak quads won't pull you up the climbs.

~Great.Big.Sigh~

I shoulda stayed on the porch.

But...we be feelin' betta now. Ran 4.96 miles in 45 minutes Sunday morning in the cold. HR felt a little high, but the legs felt good. Then went to swim class and got my butt kicked again. Monday I rode 70 minutes on the trainer while watching Ironman Florida that my hubby recorded for me. This morning, I slept in because I didn't want to fool with that "wintery mix" they kept talking about on the news. I'm supposed to run and swim...I may go get the run in at the rec center tonight.

In the meantime, here's some RNR pics courtesy of asiorders.com:

Having some fun


On a mission (that's Erin to my left #6101)


Victory is Sweet!

One happy Chick!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rock-N-Rollin', Sub-4in' - RNR AZ Race Report

I’ve been waiting around trying to come off of Cloud 9 before writing this report, but I don’t think it’s going to happen soon enough, so please excuse my childish excitement and elation for accomplishing a silly, little, worldly goal that really doesn’t mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things. However childish, silly, and worldly the goal might have been, though, it still served as a big ol’ monkey on my back. A constant voice in the back of my head. A nagging “but you still haven’t…” attached to anything I have accomplished. I’d like to say I’ve been able to ignore those things, but I can’t honestly deny their unwanted presence. It has something to do with the way I am wired. For better or worse, like it or not, it’s just the way I am.

2008 - a brand new year. But it didn’t seem so brand new to me as the clock struck midnight and the ball dropped on Times Square on Jan 1st. I had intended on breaking 4 hours at the Rocket City Marathon 3 weeks earlier, but failed miserably. It was hot and humid, I puked at mile 19, and I shuffled/walked the last 7 miles dehydrated and miserable to finish with a 4:45. I was supposed be starting my 20 week Half Iron training plan for the Gulf Coast Half Ironman (a precursor to Ironman Florida in November), but the Rocket City debacle was weighing too heavily on my mind. So I kept running and signed up for the Rock-N-Roll Arizona marathon. A rematch. Not necessarily a balls-to-the-wall-gotta-get-under-4-hours-kinda-thing, but a let’s-remember-how-to-run-strong-and-have-fun without-being-buried-in-the-numbers-kinda-thing. I ran when I felt like it, about 3 times a week, and scaled the taper mileage back even further. I got a cheap plane ticket to Phoenix and set out to have some fun.

I stayed with the awesome Trimama (RNR sherpa this time) and Lora (who ran was running the half). We met up with Commodore (and his beautiful wife and cool Mighty Mo), IronJenny, IronGirlNyhus, Greg, Erin and Sarah for dinner Friday night. Saturday morning at the expo we all met up with even more bloggers, including TriDummy, TriShannon, Momo, MarathonerInTraining, Pat and Jumper. The expo was a mad house, but Trimama, Lora and I managed to stay together and do some shopping. Dinner was at the Macaroni Grill, where I also got to the pleasure of meeting none other than the beautiful Frankie (little Momo), JavaMom, and Taryn (My Life And Running) for the first time. A good carbo-loading time was had by all.

TriShannon, Momo,TriDummy, Jumper, Trimama, and me

Frankie and Momo

TriDummy and Aime

Eric(MarathonerInTraining), IronJenny, and Erin

Pat and his wife, Amy

Frankie eating a lemon! Did I mention how cute she is?

Me and Taryn

Me and Trimama

I talked to Erin (IronJenny’s friend) several times and we decided to run together. I was a little concerned because Erin had originally been going for a 3:45, but some injuries had hindered her training and now she just wanted around 3:55. I wasn’t sure I could keep up with her, but I figured I could give it a shot.

Lora, Trimama, and myself pre-race

Trimama, Lora, TriDummy, Me, Hugo, IronJenny and Sarah

I got up on Sunday morning and carried out my usual pre-race rituals – shower, shave, a touch of makeup because they have cameras out there ya know, body-glide all over, etc. I ate a Zone Bar 2.5 hours before race start and drank a Gatorade. I also took 2 Immodium to keep my stomach tame throughout the race. This was a piece of advice from Jenny, which proved to be AWESOME. The benefits of having these veterans around are wonderful! Trimama, in all her sherpa goodness, chauffeured Lora and I down to the race start. At the start, we found Jenny, Erin, Robert, Sarah, and TriDummy. We got into Coral 4 and somehow lost Tridummy.

I wore the Garmin.

I know I said I wasn’t going to, but when it came right down to it, I strapped it on. Not the HR monitor, though. The gun went off, and Erin and I took off together. I immediately noticed that my legs felt great! The temp was probably mid 40s, no wind, no humidity, and the sun was coming up nicely. I had taken a Gu about 20 minutes before start time, and had planned on re-Gu’ing every 6 miles. Erin and I chatted about everything under the sun, we ooo’d and aaahhh’d over the beautiful desert and mountains, and we sang with the bands when we knew the songs! In other words, we were having fun. I peeked at my Garmin every now and then, and noticed that except for the 1st mile, which was congested and slow (9:20, I think), we were easily hitting sub 9’s. And a lot of 8:45s and 8:50s. It didn’t worry me that it might be too fast, because it felt very easy and we were having fun. Around mile 7 I thought “I am in no hurry to get this over with. I could go on all day!” We got water at every water stop, but we took it and ran, no walking. I took my scheduled Gu at mile 6, then again at mile 12. I was happy to cross the 13.1 mile mat well under 2 hours, and I knew that my family would be happy to see that if they were tracking me at home. We ran through tons of cheering spectators at mile 14, and could hear Trimama screaming above them all! By mile 17 I started to feel a little bit of fatigue, and decided to go ahead with another Gu. It helped, but I was aware that it wasn’t going to get much easier from here on out. I thought about how strong I had run so far. I thought about the time I already had in the bank. Erin was going for 3:55, and we were right on target. I didn’t want to slow her down. We got to mile 18 and I made note that I was getting a little tired, but I had never felt this good at mile 18 of a marathon before. I started to believe that I was capable of sub-4, I just wanted to get to mile 20.

For some reason I decided at mile 18 that we had 6.2 miles left, and looking at our time I thought Erin could BQ with a 3:45…but she corrected me and reminded me that a marathon was twenty-SIX point two miles, not twenty-four. Ha! Math doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for me beyond 15 miles or so.

We reached mile 20, and I ran up behind a man with a picture of his son on the back of his shirt – he was running in his memory. A cute little boy. “What I am feeling right now is not pain, that is pain” I told myself. H.J., who had called me before I left for Phoenix, talked to me about some things to think about when it started getting hard. That was one of them. Another one is just to tell myself “There is no wall.” I said that over and over. And Erin and I talked about the fact that “Pain doesn’t hurt as much as regret.” It started hurting, though, around mile 22. My pace slowed a little, and I saw that my splits were coming in around 9:10 – 9:20. I had enough time, but I had to stay focused. I couldn’t really talk anymore, other than trying to tell Erin to go on and get her 3:55, which she refused to do. I am confident that she could have done that – she was stronger than I was in those last miles. If she wasn’t going to go on, though, I felt the least I could do was give it all I had. By this time, I stopped taking in the scenery and just focused on the road in front of me. It was warming up, the Gu's weren't lasting as long, and the fatigue was setting in. I knew that this was coming. I had been here before; it's just usually several miles earlier than this. Holly had posted about this sort of thing a while back from a book she was reading, and I took her advice and welcomed the pain.

I said “There you are. I knew you would be here. You’re not my enemy, you’re my friend. I love this pain. You’re what makes the marathon special. If it weren’t for you, everyone would do this. I want to get to know you really well, because we’re going to spend a lot of time together training for Ironman. Believe it or not, I like you. C’mon and run 4 miles with me.”

I knew I could run 4 miles, and I envisioned running from my house to the stoplight and back (4 miles) like I do all the time. Mile 23 seemed to come quicker than I expected, and I took my last Gu. I’ve never been able to handle a Gu after mile 20 before, so this was another success. Mile 24 came, and I realized that there really was not going to be a wall today. I had 2 more miles. Yes, I was VERY uncomfortable, and I was moving as fast as I could go and barely hitting 9:15 a mile, but there was no way I was quitting now. I took a cup of water at the mile 25 water stop, and they were yelling “Just over the bridge and down into the city and you’re there!!” That sounded so good. About 9 minutes later the 26 mile sign came into view and the clock said 3:36:XX. We were about 2 minutes behind the start clock. I looked at Erin and we smiled and nodded at each other. I pushed the last .2 in hard as hard as I could push, knowing that I had finally done it. I threw my arms up in victory, and felt the monkey fall off my back as we crossed the finish line in 3:56:20.

I wanted to jump up and down, but that was not physically possible, so when I saw Trimama and Lora I yelled “I DID IT! I DID IT! 3:56!!!” I was ecstatic.

I did my first marathon in April ’06 in 4:17:17. In August of ’06 I started training for a sub-4 marathon and was confident that I could do it, but came up short in Vegas with a 4:08. The Rocket City Marathon, in December ’07, was horrific, and before Jan 13th I was no longer sure that I was capable of a sub-4. Getting up at 3:30 a.m. to run 16 or 20 miles in 20 degrees is not all that fun all the time. Passing on the margaritas and late nights is annoying sometimes. But there was NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING that was overrated about crossing that mat and hearing the beeeeeeep with a clock up above my head that still had a “3” on it. Not that it’s some great feat or makes me special or anything, but because it didn’t come easy. Because it took more than following a plan; it took more than just putting in the miles. It took time. It took persistence, and it took risk. It took 2 failed attempts. It took getting back up after being knocked on my ass at Rocket City. It took family, friends, luck, and it definitely took help from up above. It took a whole lot of everything inside me.

They say nothing good comes easy. They are right.

Running a sub-4 marathon doesn’t make me much more of a runner than I was when I clocked a 4:08 over a year ago. It doesn’t put me into a class of fast runners or anything. I didn’t win any money, and I didn’t come anywhere close to being at the top of my age group. But the taste of victory – personal victory – in the face of adversity, in spite of obstacles, and notwithstanding your pride is one of the sweetest tastes there is in this world.

Pick your goal, whatever it might be, and set out to get it. Don't give up. Do not EVER give up. Embrace the adversity you might face, the obstacles you will encounter, and the probable fall of your pride. They will make your victory that much sweeter.

Splits, numbers (ofcourse!), and detailed analysis coming soon…

Sunday, January 13, 2008

3:56:20

It was worth the wait...

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

I'm Here!

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Last Minute Details

Ok, I finally downloaded all my registration confirmation stuff for RNRAZ. Tons of papers.

What's cool?

- If, by chance, you'd like to track my progress, you can go to www.rnraz.com and track me under "Live Results" at the 10k, half marathon, 21 mile mark, and finish line.

- My Race Number is 4682.

- My corral number is 4.

- Kool & The Gang is the headliner act for the Post Race Concert. I'm going. Might as well Celebrate while I can.

What's not?


~sigh~

I really hate to say this, but I am not happy about the hydration option out on the course. I really do hate to say that, because they sent me a whole case of the stuff, and a cool tech shirt that I really like. But I have tried many times to drink the stuff while under intense physical exertion, and it just doesn't work out. I'm not going all the way to Phoenix just to repeat my puking episode. Dangit. Dangit. Dangit. Maybe I'll do gel + water. But I haven't trained with any either of those choices lately. But I guess the gel + water is probably the safest. Dangit, Dangit, Dangit.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I forgot to mention this, but...


I got a kayak for Christmas! Yipppeee! Thanks to good ol' Mom & Dad...

Sittin' On Ready

I'm ready. The marathon is Sunday, but if it had been yesterday, when I went out on my lunch break for a 6 miler, I know for sure I would have been ready. I intended on running 6 miles - 4 easy and 2 at marathon pace, but I couldn't hold myself back. Sub-9 was feeling easy. I felt like was just floating along out there, even against some fierce headwinds. My legs haven't felt like this in a long time. I finished the 6 miles at an average pace of 9:09. I've only been running about 3 times a week for the past 2 weeks, and I haven't done any of the VO2 max runs that Pfitz calls for. I am running 4 miles in the morning and then resting for 2 days before the marathon. If nothing else, I'm gonna find out how my body reacts to rest!

The day before Rocket City, the Pfitz plan called for a 4 mile run. I went out for the run and was horrified at how my legs really felt. They felt awfully heavy to be the day before the marathon. I remember thinking the same thing before the Vegas marathon in '06, too. So...I'm thinking, perhaps my legs might just require a little more rest than these tapering plans are suggesting. Sunday will tell.

In addition to rest, I have also been trying to eat more nutritiously. Hoooge body parts call for desperate measures. Dr. Oz measures, to be exact. I decided to try The Green Drink on Jan 1st. I liked it. It is like 'a glass of fresh,' as Oprah described. And it makes a more nutritious breakfast than Burger King's $.99 cinnaminis.

Here's what's in it:

4 stalks of celery
1 medium cucumber
handful of spinach
handful of parsely
thumbnails size of ginger root(peeled ofcourse)
1 apple
1 banana
juice of a lemon
juice of a lime
handful of ice cubes
some water, enough to make it smooth

The ingredients above make enough for just over 2 servings. The original recipe didn't call for a banana, but I put it in there anyways. I can taste the banana through the swamp water, and that's why I keep drinking it. It's really not that bad. It's actually pretty good, especially if you consider how good it makes you feel.

I am also testing out the MonaVie drink that my mother-in-law introduced to me. It's a blend of the acai berry from the amazon, along with a lot of other fruits, and glucosamine. My mother-in-law swears by it, and I think it actually tastes pretty good, so I've been drinking the required the 2 ounces twice a day. It's supposed to have all kinds of health benefits, including the joint and cartlidge repair properties of glucosamine. The drawback is that it's expensive. I doubt I can afford to continue drinking it for the long term, but for now it's keeping me in a "eat healthy" kind of mode. Staying in the healthy frame of mind is key here. My mother-in-law is interested to see if I suffer from the same degree of post-marathon soreness as I have in the past. We shall see.

Monday, January 07, 2008

It Sure Is Monday

Christmas vacation is over. Everyone's decorations are put away (hopefully) - NO, I do NOT leave my christmas lights up on my front porch all year long. I may know all the words to every old Bocephus song, but I draw the line with Christmas lights. They come down before the New Year. The kids went back to school this morning. I'm back to work for regular, instead of abbreviated, weeks(even if my regular week is only 4 days). It was a fun holiday season, but there's something to be said for a routine. And something to be said for a new year that will eventually bring my coveted Spring weather.

The sad part is - J.T.'s grandmother passed away Friday. So it's been a hard weekend for J.T. and his family. She was a very sweet lady, and she's going to be missed badly. Much could be learned from the way she lived. Especially for someone who tries to go 90 mph all the time, trying to get ahead, then trying to stay ahead, but sometimes allowing the really important things to fall behind. The reality check revealed that I am far from what I want to be. If you guys think I keep all this supermom/superwife, corporate computer programmer, swimming/biking/running, cooking/cleaning, teaching/loving/praying-with-my-kids, helping-the-world-be-a-better-place all balanced - I have mislead you. I am the master of convincing myself that I am snorkeling along a beautiful tropical reef and swimming along with exotic fish, while the truth is that I am just barely keeping my head above water. My children should be glowing like the exotic fish in the tropics, but I'm afraid the hustle and bustle and general disorganization of our everyday lives is hindering that. Time for change.

Change is good. The little voice in the back of my head keeps saying it won't last, but it's not going to keep me from trying. I bet if I go back to last January's archives on this blog I'd find that I talked about getting organized and balanced then, too. I guess you could lable me a New Year's resolutionist in that department, but that's okay. I was once a New Year's resolutionist for exercise just like all those others you are seeing at the gym right now, but I kept the promise the last time I made it. That's why I don't knock those people giving it another shot for the New Year. Hey - atleast they are trying. I know some of them won't be there 4 months from now, but one day they might keep the promise, too. This might be the year. I want to walk up to everyone one of them and say "Hey, I'm proud of you for being here. You can do this." And that's what I'm telling myself right now, as I vow to keep my home organized, the green veggies on the table, the Bible study and prayer time, the lending a hand to my neighbor, and still leave enough time in between the many other activities we have to stay sane. Or perhaps cutting a few of them out in order to stay sane.

Anyways.

I ran 13 miles Saturday with H.D. and Tim. Final "long" run before RNR AZ. I didn't feel great, but I didn't feel bad. Average pace was 9:01. Tim had run 20 miles at an 8:25 pace just the day before, so we were actually able to keep up with him! Can you believe someone would want to run 13 miles the day after running 20? The guy is a machine. I haven't been following Pfitz's tapering plan so well. I honestly don't think it tapers enough for myself. I'm not going for any records in Phoenix anyway, so why not?

You guys have a good week. Train hard, tell your family you love them, don't sweat the small things, and have some fun.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Hoooge Body Parts

I debated on whether or not to blog this, as I’m sure it will fall under the TMI category for some of you, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to embarrass any of my family members that happen to read it. But in the end, I decided it just had to be blogged.

So without further ado…

We were bustling around the house one night during the holidays, and I had just gotten out of the shower and started to get dressed. I managed put on my underclothes, and summoned Bo, our 6 year old, to come hop in the shower now that I was out. He did so, without argument, like he always does. Bo does what you tell him to do, and he doesn’t argue with you. Briar, our 11 year old, however; is the opposite. He will argue you into the ground trying to get his way no matter how big or small the issue. Back to Bo, though. Along with his submissive personality comes sheer bluntness. And I mean blunt as in no holds bard, very matter of fact, cut to the bone blunt. Briar, on the other hand, will say whatever he thinks you want to hear, and he will be sad for 2 days if he thinks he hurt someone’s feelings. Bo – not so much. The truth is the truth with him, like it or not. If you don’t want to hear it, don’t ask. As a matter of fact, don’t stand in front of him half naked, either.

Before I get into the heart of this story, I have to tell you one more thing. Bo has always pronounced the word “huge” like “hoooge” or “hoooj” or “who with a ‘j’ sound at the end”. Now that you can hear the correct pronunciation, I’ll get on with the story.

So I still hadn’t gotten any more than my underclothes (i.e., bra and panties) on when Bo yelled for a towel, turned the shower off, and said he was done. I hurriedly grabbed a towel, and ran to the bathroom. I was drying the water off him when I realized he was staring at me, wheels turning at a cadence equal to 100 of my rpm's on the bike. Then he made eye contact with me, and very seriously announced,

“Momma, your boobs are a little hoooge.”

“Uh, oh ok, Bo.” I replied as I couldn’t help but turn and look in the mirror to see if I noticed such a difference as well.

Now, let’s go ahead and get this out on the table. “Hooge Boobs” for this 31 year old who has previously breastfed two hungry baby boys is in no way a complement. For the shape that these jewels were left in following pregnancy and breastfeeding, “hooge” is not a good thing. And by shape, for those of you aren’t following me, I am talking along the lines of a tube sock with a baseball in the bottom. “Hooge” merely means the chicken, dressing, sweet potatoes, wine, and chocolate fudge during the holidays have transformed my baseball into a grapefruit. Not. Good.

I dismissed his comment without thinking too much about it…I mean, I’ve always heard that’s the first place you lose or gain weight…so if it’s just now showing up there I still have time to rectify the matter with little damage, right?

Wrong.

As I finish drying Bo with the towel, Briar yells for me. I turn and walk quickly out of the bathroom, instructing Bo to go ahead and get dressed. But he chases me down with a very concerned look on his face and urgency in his voice.

“Momma, Momma wait!”

“What is it, Bo? You need to go get dressed, okay?”

“But Momma, your butt is hoooge too!!! It was SHAKING!”

~moment of silence~

Now that one hurt. It’s gone to the booty. We gots a problem. No wonder those jeans have been tight in the ass. I guess it wasn’t the dryer after all.

Needless to say, I didn’t dismiss that comment. Six year olds don’t lie about hoooge boobs and hoooge booties that shake. Yeah.

Christmas Fun

Shooting new Bows and Arrows at Granddaddy's

Climbing Granddaddy's Tree

Getting cookies decorated for Santa

Yes, sleeping in the Best Buy parking lot on Black Friday was worth it!

Santa was kind enough to replace the ball glove that was lost last summer

I couldn't let '07 pass without a new bike in the family(anyone need a blue Trek Jet 16?!?)...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and such

Wow...what a holiday season. Things have been relatively quiet around here lately, and it's been really nice. I usually get really stressed out around Christmas because I never can get it just like I want it. You know, where I'm off work, the house is clean, the Christmas music is playing in the background, I'm playing games with the kids...and I guess the meals just magically get cooked or something...I don't know. But I tried to let all that go this year, and somehow everything just fell into place. I got a few days off of work, I got to two rooms completely cleaned out, I played some Christmas music in the background, and I cooked when I could and didn't when I couldn't. I ran when I could and didn't when I didn't want to. I got a nice 2 hour bike ride in the other day. I haven't done enough swimming. But I think I've done enough resting. Oh, and I ran 16 miles in 2 hrs 17 minutes the other day. I've played lots of Guitar Hero III and Dance, Dance Revolution, too. I've helped mix colors and make crystals in a Chemistry set. We've spent some good times with family, and some more good times with just each other. Life is certainly good. More pics to come later.




I signed up for the Gulf Coast 1/2 Iron Triathlon (in May) and finally for the Rock N Roll Marathon in AZ which is less than 2 weeks away. I've looked at several different half iron plans, and finally decided on the 20 week plan from BeginnerTriathlete.com. I'm not really following that plan very carefully right now, and I don't plan to until after I finish RNR Arizona on Jan 13th.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't feel a little strange right now about the new year. I don't feel a good, solid end to 2007 and a new beginning for 2008 like I had planned. I had planned on sub4'ing in Huntsville on Dec 8th, then kicking back and enjoying the holidays, and starting anew today, Jan 1st. By demanding a marathon rematch, though, I haven't really been able to just kick back. I have definitely slowed down, but I wouldn't call it "kicking back". Two rest days in a row, though, has not been something unheard of for me, lately. Anyways...

I expect big things for 2008. We're gonna start her off with RNR AZ on Jan 13th, where I'm gonna have a rockin' good time with Trimama, TriDummy, IronJenny, and all the rest of the bloggers heading out there. I'm gonna allow for some recovery time, maybe run the Country Music 1/2 mary, and hit the BT half-iron plan hard, leading up to the Gulf Coast Triathlon. Then I'll do my very favorite triathlon, the Mach Tenn Triathlon . After that, I'm not sure what I'm going to do before going full-swing into IMFL training. I might do another sprint, but I might not. I have never done even a half iron, so I'm leaving my options open and will go with how I feel mentally and physically. Most of our summer time is spent at the ballpark, so I'll have to wait and see how that goes, too. I expect Ironman training to be as much of a challenge of time management as of physical endurance. That's fine. I intend to rise to the occasion.

Anyways, I have lots of pics to post later, but I just want to say a few things to you guys who read this blog -

Thanks for sticking with me in 2007. Thanks for your support, your encouragement, and your wisdom and advice. Thanks for your friendship. Your comments and your emails inspire me to press on and step out into the unknown. And to be brave. And here's to an even bolder, braver, and exciting 2008! Say it w'me now - Bring. It. On.

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