Monday, November 30, 2009
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence.
You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves."
- Abraham Lincoln
Friday, October 30, 2009
9 runners. 1 spouse (Thank you, Susan!). 1 sister-n-law(Thank you, Denise!). A Mercedes. A Marine Corps Marathon. Manchester meets Washington D.C. for MCM!
The 2009 Marine Corps Marathon was and is the only long distance event on my calendar this year.2008 was the year of a lifetime, but 2009, well, not so much. If you've followed me at all on Twitter, Facebook, or on the occasion that I actually do post a blog entry here, you probably know it's been a roller coaster ride. Train hard for a week, do nothing for a week. Get up at 4 a.m. for a week, then hit-snooze-until-I'm-almost-late-for-work for a week. I've been in and out of doing MCM more times than I care to mention. So, when I finally got a decent 20 miler in the books 2 weeks prior to race day, I made the decision to go. I really had no goals that I would have ever mentioned in public, but I'll just be honest with you...somehow I was secretly hoping I was Super Girl and could go bust out a sub-4. Hehehe...yeah, go ahead and laugh. My marathon PR is a 3:56.This was seriously a recession-proof trip. We arrived in D.C. Saturday, ate lunch at the California Pizza Kitchen, took the metro to the expo, ate dinner back at the Embassy Suites where we were staying, crammed the girls in one room, the guys in another, and depended on Denise, Yogi's sister-in-law and a local resident, to transport us to the race Sunday morning. Then back to the hotel after the race to get to head home. If you ever wonder if a Mercedes is actually worth the extra money, let me go ahead and answer that question once and for all - Hell Yes, it's worth it. That thing is like one of those tents in Harry Potter - you can just keep cramming people into it! Note that this was a car, not an SUV...but it rolled us all the way to the Pentagon in time for the race start, when the line on the shuttles would have made us at least an hour late. (Note to self - and anyone else planning on doing MCM in the future: Do NOT wait until an before race start to catch the shuttle. You won't make it in time...not even close.)
So we all made it to the start line and wished each other good luck. Yogi, Holly, Lee and Jonathon were out of site before I even knew what was going on. I ran with Tim, and Heather, Tammie and Ros jumped into the crowd somewhere behind us. There were so many people you really couldn't move. We kind of just cruised along at the pace of everyone around us for the first couple of miles, and then I got impatient. It was a beautiful day, I felt halfway decent, and I had a huge rush of adrenaline just from the fact that I was back at the races. It had been almost exactly 51 weeks since I had done anything of the sort (IMFL), and I certainly did feel like myself again. You know what I mean, right? That uncertainty of what's going to happen - because it's 26.2, anything can happen, the beautiful sunrise promising a great day to run, the OMG how I love the marathon, all the people, the sheer excitement, the butterflies, the I-will-do-this-if-I-have-to-crawl-to-the-finish-line. You know what I'm talking about. Go 51 weeks without it, when you've been used to it, and see if you don't get overly excited and overly confident in yourself too.
And that's what I was - overconfident. When I finally saw a little bit of daylight through the crowd, I went too fast. Some of the miles were close to 8 minutes. At one time, Tim even came right out and told me that we needed to check up. I crossed the halfway mark around 1:53 still feeling pretty good. Mile 15 came, though, and I knew I was starting to slow down. Mile 16 I finally found the port-a-potty I needed, Mile 17 hurt like 7 hells trying to get my legs going again, and at Mile 18 I was done by all manners of any kind of respectful marathon running. Mile 20 brought the cramps in my calves and the death march -the run as far as I could, then walk until I could run again and repeat. I crossed the finish line at 4:16:53. I remember seeing the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial, other than that I can't really tell you too much else about the course. One thing that I thought was really cool about the finish of this marathon was all the people...there were tons crossing the finish line with me. Normally it's fairly sparse, a person here or there, but getting to the finish line here was almost as crowded as starting out. Lots of encouragement to get there...I even heard one guy yell for someone to "RUN!" when they stopped to walk - and they did! Haha!
We all reconveined and took an adventure trip (read - every damn road in D.C. was closed) back to the Embassy Suites, and then to Denise's house for some of the best food and the best shower I've had in a long time! The adventure actually lasted so long that Lee missed his flight and got the priviledge of riding back with me, Susan and Yogi - 10 hours to Manchester. I got up and made it to work the next day, with the help of that good office coffee - 2 cups, instead of my normal 1.
Soooo glad to be done!!! Ros, Yogi, Tammie, Lee, Lana, Holly, Tim, Heather, Jonathon
What I loved about this race:
- Great friends can make a painful marathon not so painful. Yeah, I was disappointed in my time, but who cares - I had a freakin' blast with all my runnin' buddies!!
- The marines on the course and the general patriotic you feeling you got while being involved.
- The woman we met on the subway. We met a lady, also from TN, who was there for the marathon and had recently lost her husband in Iraq. And her two sons are there now. When the pain set in at mile 18, all I could think about was her...and how what I was feeling was nothing even close to pain. It's only because of this woman's sacrifice, and many others, that we are able to do this stuff.
- It really is a cool course, if you're not hurting too bad to pay attention. We were up close and personal with many of the monuments.
- It's not hilly. Nope, it's not. I mean there are a couple hills during the first 7 miles, but they aren't anything to get worked up over. They have a nice downhill on the other side, too.
- The crowd support. Geez...there was 26.2 miles of crowd support in this one. You gotta love it when you don't have to wave goodbye to all the half marathoners and the crowds at the half point and take the lonely road of faith.
- Ros qualified for Boston. Ros kicked ass. Major ass. 3:43 ass. Boston Ass. LOVE. IT.
- The buffet at the Embassy Suites the night before. Good stuff.
- The medal, the l/s shirt, the coin, and the patch. Very cool.
Lee, Heather, Jonathon, Tammie, Holly, Lana, Ros, Tim
Heather, Lee, Yogi, Tim @pre-race dinner
Holly, Tammie, Yogi, Jonathon, Lana, Tim, Ros, Heather, Lee @pre-race dinner
What I didn't love about this race:
- Water stops. Sorry, but after mile 18 I need a water stop every mile. Not sure if it's mental or what, but I need it. I swear at one point I think I went over 3 miles before I came to one. Some girl even offered me her half-drank bottle of water, and I will be forever grateful for her. No worries about the swine flu when you are about die of thirst.
- The post-race festivities were too far away. Dude - I hate to admit it, but once I got my medal I hit the grass for a few minutes. I'm glad I did, too, because I had to walk what seemed like another two or three miles to the family meetup area.
What I learned at this race:
- It's worth it to get up at 4:00 a.m. and run in the dark because the plan says to. Just like I always use to say. It's still true. It's still the same. Baby, babe your still the same.
- It's not worth it to sleep in and hit snooze. And skip runs. You WILL regret it.
- Don't go after a goal you haven't trained for just because you get all caught up in the excitement of the event.
- It helps to have your own luxury taxi service at the race venue. Denise and Susan-you are angels sent from God, girls.
- I love my running peeps very, very much. I already knew that, but now I know it more.
What's next?!?! I'm headed to NYC to support my super fast sister - Holly Jane - at the NYC Marathon!! I will serve as head cheerleader and co-photographer alongside The Flash and Kathy. Go Holly!!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
....moving right along...
I did actually taper this week. I ran 6 Monday and 4 Wednesday and that is all. I might run a fast 2 tomorrow. Maybe. I didn't swim or bike at all. I did lift weights on Monday and over did it a bit, but it was mostly upper body, and I'm not that sore anymore so all should be good.
I'm flying to D.C. Saturday morning and riding back with Yogi (who will have just kicked my @ss in the marathon) and Susan after the race. The only site seeing being done will obviously be whatever the course has in store. I've heard it's great, so it should suffice.
I'm excited!!! No, this is not gonna be a PR. I'm undertrained and a bit over stressed lately, but let me just say this. I love running. Running makes me feel good, and it makes me feel strong. I haven't been very faithful to it in 2009, but we are tight again. I heart it. And for whatever it's worth, I plan on running my heart out in D.C.
Wanna track me? Go here: http://live.activeresult.com/msg/MSG-signup.tcl?event_id=32
First name = Lana
Last name = Sain
You should get updates on your cell phone.
I love you, peeps. All of you.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
2009 has not exactly been my year when it comes to endurance sports. I've struggled. I've battled with burnout, with time management, and with keeping my priorities in check. I've had times when I felt strong, and times when I've wondered who in heaven's name that girl was that did Ironman Florida last year. I signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon thinking this would give me a somewhat worthy goal, and a reason to put my running shoes back on with some consistency.
Consistency didn't happen. The mental fortitude I had developed over the last several years dissipated into the sheets that I stayed covered up in when the alarm clock went off. So a few weeks ago, about 4 weeks out from the marathon, I decided I'd make a run at a comeback. I got up early and had some good 6 - 8 milers, and then last weekend gave a 20 miler a shot. My longest run to that point had been a 13 miler.
Terribly. I felt like deja vu from the Rocket City Marathon in '07. Weak, nauseated, cold sweats, no energy. I don't know if this due to a particularly hard week I had, or a combination of things, but I couldn't go another step after about 12.5. My good friend, Jay, ran back to his house and gave me a ride back to my car.
Having a run like that haunts me from then until I redeem myself. So yesterday, I set out for redemption. It was raining when I got up at 4:00, but I really wanted to run. I had kept myself hydrated the days before and acted like the "old Lana" who prepared herself for the task at hand. I wanted to run. Thankfully, Tim wanted to run, too, and we took off in the sprinkling rain. It rained for the first 3 or 4 miles, and then stopped. I felt strong, and even when I didn't feel strong, I pushed on. I wanted that 20. Tim did the first 17 with me and had to go. I finished out the last 3 on my own. And ended up with a pace around 8:35.
That's right...this momma can still rock the long run. Bring on MCM! I'm only left with a 2 week taper and not much of a training base, so it's going to hurt, but bring it on anyway.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
It sounds bad, I know. But I'm getting it back together, one step at a time. Life is still a beautiful thing...sometimes you just have to rearrange things in order to see it clearly.
Peace and Love...
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I had a good week last week. I didn't make it to run with the group Friday morning, but I made up for it by doing a 14 mile trail run in midday in the heat and humidity. I love the solitude of trail running. This week, I ran 4 at lunch on Monday and 6 yesterday (Wednesday). I didn't make it on the bike Tuesday, but I am commuting today. I'm running long tomorrow, and I'm riding long Saturday. Not exactly 'PR Marathon Training,' but it's all good for now.
There's a lot of hurt in the world. I think sometimes I don't slow down long enough to really see it, or maybe I just avoid looking at it because I don't want to slow down; but that doesn't mean it's not there. A little boy on Briar's baseball team dove into a swimming pool back in the summer and broke his neck. 14 years old, and he's paralyzed from the waste down. He was a tremendous baseball player and great kid...and we pray that he will walk again someday. But when I think about the intense rehab he goes through daily and the demons he must have to fight in his head, it is very sobering. It certainly makes my self-inflicted long running and biking pain seem unimportant. So if I don't post about this stuff with the same zeal as I may have in the past, it's just because I have taken the time to actually see the hurt this time, and it sort of brings me to a loss of words for now.
Above all the hurt in this world though, the Earth is beautiful. It is truly a gift. Get out in and play in it, and be thankful you can.
Monday, August 03, 2009
Brushing off commitments is contagious. Training keeps me honest, and it keeps me disciplined. I'm committing to 14 days of doing what I say I'll do. No excuses, and no exceptions. I started this morning, and it felt great to follow through, for a change. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are running and cross training. Tuesdays and Thursdays are biking. Fridays are long runs. Saturdays are long bikes and/or boot camp. Wednesday's cross training is always Cindy's class. Next week, I'm starting back Masters Swim. I'm way behind on my training for the Marine Corps Marathon, but I'm going to fight back.
In other news, we just got back from our family baseball trip. We drove to Chicago and saw the Cubs drill the Astros, hooped and hollered in our country accents, then sang "Go Cubs Go" at the end of the game - it was AWESOME! Then we went to St. Louis and saw the Cardinals play the Astros, too, and we visited with my cousin and went up in the Gateway Arch. I have pics and video to share soon.
Unfortunately, it's about time for school to start again. It's hard to believe I have a 7th grader and a 2nd grader already. I have been in denial that it's time to go back, but I might as well get used to it.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Fit: These shorts fit me really well. I got a medium, which is what I normally wear, and it fit great. The length is actually a little longer than my normal Nike Tempos, and I liked something a bit longer for a change. They have a drawstring in the waist to make sure they are snug, and a liner that felt perfect. I haven't tried to run in my undergarments in many moons, so that liner is crucial. For fit, I give them 5 stars.
Comfort: Very comfortable shorts. The material is very thin and airy, and as I mentioned before, the liner on the inside is perfect. These shorts never offered to ride up, and that's a big deal. I have yet to experience any chaffing with them, although I normally apply some Body Glide as precaution. For comfort, 5 stars.
Flattery: This probably depends more on your body type than anything. I was pleased with how I looked in these shorts, although I think when I am thinner and in better shape I like the cut of my Nike's better. These did a very good job of covering up some of my problem spots, though, so that was nice. They were a very cute "coral" color also, that went with several running shirts I have. For flattery, I'll give them 3 1/2 stars.
Performance: These shorts have a small key pocket in the front, plus two pockets near the back that are perfect for a gel or two. This is one area these shorts definitely kill the Nike Tempos. Being able to tote along some gel is crucial for marathoning. They also have some reflective strips which come in handy for my 4 a.m. runs in the dark. Last but certainly not least, they did a good job of keeping moisture off my skin with the wicking material and the breathability of the mesh panels on the side. Performance gets 5 stars.
Overall, I highly recommend these running shorts. The only thing that tripped me up a little was the fact that the retail price is $45; that's a bit higher than my $28 Nike Tempo Track shorts. I guess you get what you pay for, though. If $45 doesn't hurt your recession budget too bad, give them a try.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
There's not a whole lot I can add to that. Eleanor says it all.
"Making The Cut" is coming along. I've lost 3lbs, my clothes are starting to fit differently, and I'm almost to the point where I can go through each circuit twice...last night I did 4 out of 5 of them twice. I'm sure I'm getting laughed at in the weight room at the gym when I'm doing jumping squats and lunges till muscle failure, but oh well. Bonnaroo was this past weekend, so I did have to jump ship from the diet for a days, but I'm back on track now. I still have a long ways to go, but at least we are headed in the right direction.
I'm still looking to do the Lock 4 Xterra, then the Music City Triathlon in downtown Nashville (an Oly). The following week J.T., the boys and I are going visit 4 MLB ballparks in 5 days. In the Prius. It's our recession-proof family vacation. We are driving to Cincinnatti to watch the Reds, then to Chicago for the Cubs and White Sox, then back down to St. Louis to visit my cousin Megan and to watch the Cardinals. Marine Corp Marathon training starts July 5th. I'm going with the FIRST plan this time, so I can keep riding my bike and getting in shape for the MS Jack N Back ride at the beginning of October. I followed this plan for the Las Vegas marathon a couple of years ago.
I'll leave you with some Bonnaroo pics:
and last but not least....
Monday, June 08, 2009
The Mach Tenn Triathlon was my first triathlon EVER...5 years ago. When I think back to that scary day 5 years ago, I almost get emotional. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had been running for about a year and a half, and I had just purchased my bike off of Ebay 2 months prior to that race. As far as swimming, I thought I was hitting the pool hard...but it was hard because I simply didn't really know how to swim very well, so I was not exactly efficient in the water, and a mere 500 yds was hard. I was going through a discovery period in my life. I was finding out, all by myself, that I was no longer limited by my preconceived notions, my critics, or my environment. William James said "Compared to what we ought to be, we are only half awake..." and I was realizing this on a small scale. Running had first tipped me off to this idea, and I was all about pushing some limits to see what was really possible. It was liberating, and the early morning sunrise workouts just plain made me feel good. So old basketball teammate, Leslie, told me about the Mach Tenn Triathlon and suggested I make it my first. Leslie was the only person I knew who had ever competed in a triathlon. To make a long story short, I worked really hard to get to a place where I thought I could finish that thing, and I did finish it, but I would never call that experience easy. I was terrified. The dinner I had eaten the night before was long gone in our septic tank by 3 a.m., and I didn't sleep a wink. The swim was what I was most afraid of, and for good reason, because to this day I am surprised I actually made it out alive. I was very happy not to crash on the bike, and my legs were pretty much in shock the entire run because the race itself was my first ever BRICK. I finished and was ecstatic. My parents thought I had turned into Super Woman, and my friends thought I was crazy. That day led to countless other sprints and olys, and eventually a half iron and a full Ironman - Ironman Florida. The many other lessons in life and in toughness it led too, though, are countless. Not to mention the relationships and friendships I have been blessed with in this sport.
All that said, Saturday was a celebration of all that. It was an "I-love-this-sport-so-even-though-I've-taken-a-break-and-am-not-trained-very-well, I'm-still-going-out-there-and-gonna-have-fun-with-my-friends-doing-the-sport-we-love" kinda attitude. And boy was it a lot of fun. And as it turns it out, maybe I'm not in as bad of shape as I thought. My times were only only seconds off of last years, and I even placed first in my age group! The fact that my friends Larkin and Leslie (who are also in my age group) took Overall 1st and 2nd certainly helped my cause, but I will certainly take it.
I went as hard as I could in the swim, and managed to come out with an 18:09 (0.6 miles) even though I got into a fight with an old man out there. He didn't appreciate my bumping into him as I squeezed in between him and another swimmer, so he decided to jerk my arm under water. I called him a not so nice name and we yelled at each for a moment then went on with the swim. I must admit that's never happened to me before, but it's all good. I don't hold a grudge...I said my peace, he said his, and we were back off swimming. Get 394 competitors in a lake and...well...it's gonna happen sometimes I guess.
I hit the bike hard. I knew that my only shot to do well in this race was to give 100% on the bike, and that's what I did. I ended up with a 46:16 for the 16 miles, which is just a few seconds slower than last year. And the crazy thing about this is that I found myself battling back and forth with the same guy, aka "Mr. Lightspeed", that I was battling back an forth with last year in this race! We both recognized each other, and pushed each other to the end again!
The run is a different story. I haven't been running enough lately, and I knew that. It hurt, pretty much the whole way. I went as hard as I thought I could...but if I am honest with myself, I know that I didn't really give it my all. Boo. I had more to give on this run, I wasn't even sore the rest of the weekend. Either way, I actually beat my run time from last year with a 31:59 for the 4 miles. My one promise for this race was that I would cross the line smiling, and that I did! With a total time of 1:39:03.
I SO loved seeing all my peeps and racing hard with them. And it was a total blast to see my sister finish her 1st ever triathlon here - 5 years after it was my first! She even snagged 3rd place in our Age Group!!
Next up, Lock 4 Blast...my first ever Xterra off-road tri...let's hit the trails!
Friday, June 05, 2009
Thursday, June 04, 2009
I'm not so sure, anymore.
I was walking through Target the other day and caught a glimpse of this:
It said "Drop the last stubborn 10 - 20lbs once in for all."
I was a bit skeptical, as this 10 - 20lbs has certainly taken it's toll on me lately. It drains me of my motivation and my confidence, regardless of how many miles I can swim/bike/run. Whether that's a body image problem or not, it really doesn't matter if it's the reality. I've carried an extra 10 - 20lbs with me along in marathons, half iron triathlons, and all the way to the finish line at Ironman Florida. And I'm still dragging it around. So I figured "WTH, I'll see what the drill sergeant has to say...maybe she'll say something to motivate me." I bought the book.
The fact of the matter is that I looked better before I started running long distance. When I was taking classes at the gym and running only 3-4 miles at a time, I looked good. I stood in front of that mirror at the gym and liked what I saw. Before I picked up a piece of bread or a piece of chocolate, I thought about that mirror, and how the extra calories really weren't worth it. Enter marathon and triathlon training, on top of a pretty hectic schedule to begin with, and it gets a bit more complicated. You IM parents know what I mean, right? Sure, you'd rather have grilled salmon for dinner, but you're stuck at the ball park for the next 5 hours where you can only get a burger or a hot dog...and you've got that long run coming up in the morning.
To make a long story short, the philosophies I've been using to shed my unwanted 15lbs haven't been working. I haven't stayed motivated for long enough at a time to make any progress.
I read Making The Cut and did the first workout Monday, and I am a believer. It's circuit training, the same kind I used to do at the gym...except somewhere over the last 4.5 years, I have lost all that strength I used to have...regardless of how many miles I can swim, bike, and run, I am not strong anymore. I faced that reality when I trembled while trying to finish up a set of planks, and when I put J.T. on stand-by for rushing me to the E.R. because my heart rate was so out of control I couldn't catch my breath. All of the sudden ice cream didn't sound so good and chocolate was the last thing I wanted.
I am on Day 4 of the 30 day plan. I'm following her menu and workout plan, and adding my swimming, biking and running as extra cardio. She expects you to survive on your BMR...so I have given myself a bit of allowance there, depending on how much cardio I get in. But I have a whole new perspective on the kind of shape I'm really in. These workouts are kicking my butt, but I need them. I want to be strong from the core, and I want an acceptable body composition. I can already tell a difference, so I'll be posting regularly my progress.
The Mach Tenn Triathlon is this Saturday. It was my first ever triathlon, and one of the most fun tri's around. I am gonna get my ass whipped, but I'm going out there anyway. I have always improved my time from year to year in this event, but that's about to come to an end. I'm just not nearly as strong this year. I'll do the best I can, and enjoy the day with my awesome triathlon peeps! I'll let you know how it goes.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
So, I've been MIA for a while again. Training has been sporadicly consistent. Does that make sense? Oxymoron or not, that is the only way to describe it. I've managed to let the Mach Tenn Triathlon fill up before registering, but I'm curious as to whether the VP of the club(that would me) that is putting on the race can get a string pulled for her in that regard? If not, maybe it's a sign that I'm so undertrained I need to opt for working the event rather than racing it. If I do get in, the goal will be to finish, and only to finish. I expect to get my @ss handed to me by many people, one of who is my sister (doing her 1st triathlon of all things! But she is fast!), but I'm a big girl, and I can take it. If you don't put in the training you can't expect to be strong, and that's just the way it is. Somehow it seems awfully lame of me to not race under these circumstances, though...especially since I have no good explanation as to why I haven't put in the training(no injuries or anything). I simply have been turning off the alarm instead of getting in good, quality morning workouts; and I've been opting to watch American Idol or sitting at the kids' ball practices instead of going to masters' swim class. The actual games, though, I do consider an excused absense, for the record.
Speaking of all this laziness, though, it's about to come to an end. I do despise such a way of life. It starts and ends with mental fortitude. Life on a daily basis without it is very nonproductive. You know I've been roaming around like a lost sheep wondering what in the hell I'm going to do now that my Ironman is over, and I'm not registered for anything. Everyone says "register for a smaller event and work toward that," but for someone of my mentality it seems like that would be comparable with snorting 1 line of cocaine when you are used to snorting 5. For the record, that analogy could be way off as I have never been a drug user and, other than Hollywood's interpretation, I know nothing much about it...unless you count 20 mile runs and 100 mile rides as drugs...and granted, you could have an argument there. Back to the point, though, having a smaller race than an Ironman as an A race for me, just isn't going to cut it right now. Perhaps at some point I'll be able realign the sensible railways in my head about this stuff, but for now I need something bigger. Like something I've never done before.
XTERRA Lock 4 Blast.
July 18th. I've been tossing it around for a while, but I made up my mind during a 20 mile road ride yesterday. Comfort zone, be gone. Back to swim class, back to the trails, back to early morning training. Back to being discliplined, and back to eating right.
I feel better already.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Not to switch the subject, but Ironman is hard to follow. Need I explain to you the depth of the butterflies I get when reflecting upon the waves and the crowd...the sweat and the salt...the fatigue...the barely making it to T-2...the running out into the sunset...the desperate attempt to eat something that would supply some energy...and the rebound...the rebound...the "I'm okay-I will do this"...the sunset...the darkness...the spotlights...the loud speaker...and the voice - you know the one I'm talking about...the crowd...and sheer euhphoria that can make a 32 year old mom who's gone 140.5 miles in the past 11 hours and 58 minutes break out into a sprint and feel like she could go 20 more if she needed to.
It's hard to follow.
It was something I've had in the back of my mind for 4 years, and something that had been my main focus and an extremely high priority for the entire year leading up to it. It was everything I ever wanted it to be and more, but it's still just an event. It has an end. It doesn't last forever. It's not something that defines who I am, it's just a small part of me. I'll do another one someday; how could I not? But not now.
So the extra time I've had on my hands sans IM training has left me tons of time to think and explore lots of other avenues that I had left on the back burner. Intitially, I didn't know what to think of it. I tried to rationalize...tried to justify and such, but I finally just decide I needed to retreat and gather my thoughts. I was having a hard time giving you the real Lana...and I didn't like that at all. I needed to shut up and listen, and quit running my big mouth so much. So that's what I've been doing, and really what I am still doing. I have some ideas and some goals in mind, but I'm still regrouping and still trying to determine which road I should take next. I've had some struggles and some victories lately, and I'll share them with you soon. The silence has been refreshing, but you know I can't stay quiet for long. :) I'll also get caught up on all of your blogs eventually - I'm still working on that.
In the meantime...feel free to friend me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter if you want a more up to date account of what may be going through my head at any random moment.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Let's just be real here. First, be forewarned:
This post is not necessarily the motivational type. It's just real, unedited half redneck babble from the head of a Recent Ironman/wannabe supermom/I've lost my focus/get me out of this damned recession because it's screwing with my plans/Did I even ever have a plan?/Where do I go from here? If you are easily de-motivated, grab onto your mouse and quickly navigate to another blog.
Here's the skinny...
I'm not Catholic, but I know about Purgatory. It's that "holding place" you're sent to if you're not good enough to get into heaven, but you aren't quite hell material yet, either. I've never really given it a whole lotta thought in my time, but as I was wallowing around in my own self pity the other day, wondering what in the world I'm going to do about my never ending delima of train hard or don't train at all, mixed with "I'm not missing out on anything my kids have going on this year," it hit me - I'm in Ironman Purgitory.
I'm not in Ironman Heaven, like TriGreyhound, out riding for hours and running afterwards and swimming for miles and miles and just knowing that you are the baddest em-effer to ever walk on the planet. Seeing your veins pop out, and wiping the salt off your head, and sleeping for 10 hours and still waking up tired. Following the plan and holding yourself accountable and finding the personal integrity it takes to go the extra mile and a half past your car because the plan said to ride 100 and you got back at 97. Grittin' your teeth and diggin' down deep and tired-back-be-damned-I WILL cross that finish line if I have to effin' crawl to get there, knowing good and well you've got no intention of crawling a single step or coasting for a single second on the day of Ironman, and therefore you're gonna bust your ass on every swim/bike/run you take part in, and you know you'll be repaid when you see the light and the forces start drawing you into that glorius finisher's chute. Now that's what I call paradise.
But I'm not really in Ironman Hell either. The beenthere/donethat, now I think I'll eat donuts and milk for the rest of my life especially since I bought all my IM paraphanalia two sizes too big to allow for the slothfulness I intend to indulge in. Now there would surely be some weeping and gnashing of teeth in there.
I remain in Ironman Purgatory. No, I'm not doing an Ironman this year. I don't want to. I owe it to J.T. and the boys to not be out swimming/riding/running every morning when they wake up. I am enjoying actually watching Bo's baseball practices, instead of sneaking in a run when I drop him off. If Briar's schedule gets changed and he has a ballgame when I was supposed to ride, it's cool to say, "Oh well, I just won't ride this afternoon. No biggie, I'm going to the game!" The conflict arises, though, when I do get out and a run 5 or 6 miles, and I feel like I haven't done shit. Or when I ride 20 miles and it just doesn't seem to satisfy me like those 50, 60 and 70 milers once did. So I get frustrated, and I take a trip to hell for a week. I just don't do anything, and I eat like crap. I don't like that either, so I'll hop back on the wagon. I'll eat right and train semi-hard, but it's just not IM. I'm not bad enough for IM Hell, but I just can't handle IM Heaven right now either.
This must be how it starts. How these people do an Ironman, and then turn around sign up for another before even 1 year has passed. It's the opium of endurance athletes. It grabs you and it won't let you go. That's cool stuff for a single girl without kids. Not so cool for a mom of two boys who need her around more than IM would to allow right now.
Wrapping my head around the concept of balance was never an easy thing to begin with. Insert Ironman Purgatory and I am restless. I am so loving the freedom of not having to do a certain workout on a certain day, but then after about 3 days of nothing I'm sitting there wondering where IronLana went and how I can get her back without doing another IM.
Real quick because I owe it to you:
I'm not doing Gulf Coast. The recession, along with my trips to IM Hell have made it impossible even though I really wanted it to happen.
I signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon - Oct. 25th.
I still want to do an Xterra or a mtb race this summer.
Still haven't lost much weight. That's still the #1 goal.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Bo: Mom, we got last.
Me: No, Bo! You guys got second!
~Long pause as he looks out of the top of his eyes and grins~
Bo: But Mom, Ricky Bobby sayzzzzzzzz...
And you know the rest of the story...
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Got in 2500 yds at masters swim last night. Still feeling good to be training for something. I do need to change up this blog a little though. It still says I'm on the road to IM. Technically, I'm on the road back from IM. Any suggestions?
Monday, March 16, 2009
Saturday...well, all the baseball games were cancelled this weekend. And since I had stayed up half the night Friday night packing things and getting ready for a tournament in the cold and rain, I sorta slept till noon on Saturday. It was the first time I've done that since...wow, probably college. Bo finally jumped on the bed and said, "Uh, Mom, are you just gonna lay in the bed all day?!" I took the hint and finally got up and about. The rest was nice, though, and much appreciated by my legs. We spent the rest of the day cleaning, cooking, and playing Guitar Hero. Oh yeah, one more thing...I decided to do the Gulf Coast Triathlon - a half ironman 7 weeks from now. I've put off the decision long enough, and I hesitated to even consider it seriously because it's not a cheap trip, but with a little bit of creativity I think I can get down there, rock it out as best as I can on 7 weeks of training, have some intoxicating beverages on the beach, and then ride my little hybrid back in pure 2009 Recession fashion. Because I just need a goal. My goal is to follow the Trifuel Half Iron plan as closely as possible starting at week 14 (ouch!) and not to stress when I need to miss a workout for family obligations or baseball games. It may not be a GCT PR, but it'll be fun and hopefully we can get a crew down there to support Tim, who will be doing GCT for the first time. He will no doubt set the course on fire.
Considering I finally have a goal, guess what I did Sunday? I rode my bike! Outside! 35 miles!! Then I had a strawberry banana protein smoothie, made with frozen strawberries and bananas that I had prepared and frozen myself. I threw a little bit of yogurt, milk and protein powder in it and it was wonderful. I felt wonderful, too....like an athlete again. I felt the adrenaline when I hammered up the Noah hill. I felt the passion when I had the wind at my bike. I felt the fire inside when I hit the wind head on.
You can take a girl out of the races, but you can't take the racing out of the girl. Dixie...honky tonk...racing...it's all the same.
Tim, Tammie and I hammered out 6 miles this morning at 4 a.m., and then I lifted weights and did core work for over an hour.
And that all leads to the Final Fifteen. Which is coming right along. Even though I haven't weighed lately, my mind is slowly getting on board. There are a few absolutes: I can't eat ice cream; I can't eat refined sugar. They just don't work for my body. What does work is steady, consistent good choices. Carrots instead of chips. Blueberries instead of chocolate. Yogurt intead of ice cream. Green tea instead of dessert. I haven't weighed yet this week...I'll report it when I do.
And finally...the best Daddy in the world turned 58 years old last Thursday, March 12:
Happy Birthday, Flash!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I am slowly but surely starting to like yogurt.
Yogurt is my replacement for ice cream.
I have realized that I cannot run for 2 hours and survive the rest of the day on 1100 calories.
I have been able to eat mexican fajitas w/out the chips and tortillas.
I feel more control over my diet, and I am a control freak, so that suits me just fine.
I can feel a difference in my body composition, even though I'm not satisfied with the movement, or lack there of, on the scale.
I am no longer craving chocolate.
I feel much better.
I haven't thrown in the towel. I've made some mistakes, but I've gotten back on track. I am optimistic that I will reach this goal.
Final 15 Downs:
The scales are stuck on 129. I attribute this to a not so great weekend last weekend, followed by a stomach virus, followed by being starved and ravenous. I don't know if I actually lost some weight then gained it back or what, but they last time I weighed it said 129, the time before said 130, the time before - 129. Either way, I haven't lost any weight since the first week.
The whole logging and blogging every day just did not take. Not at all. Like I have time to do that during baseball season...what was I thinking? I am logging pretty much everything I can, but the blogging is going to have to come more sparingly. You know it's not a good idea when your own diet is causing you so much stress it makes you want to eat a french fry. And I don't even like french fries.
The early stages of changing how you eat just suck. I'm always wanting something different than I have to eat. Then if I give in and let myself have something I shouldn't, I want to devour it because I know it'll be ages before I can have it again. And it's always on mind, always lingering...I'll be glad when it's just second nature. I swear when I get there I'm not letting it go again. I had all this under control in 2003...I didn't eat sweets and didn't want them and had lost several pounds. Then I went on a cruise, where the dessert is free. Free dessert, I said. How can you not take the dessert when it's free? I found out, because I've been craving sweets ever since. It's always back and forth - I eat them for a while, and then I don't eat them because I need to shed a few pounds for a race or something. But the craving is always there...ever since the cruise.
Final 15 Status:
On the days I workout hard in the morning, I'm finding time to make eggs(1 yolk + 2 whites), and then oatmeal. When I don't workout in the morning I just have oatmeal. It just works better than way for me.
I'm still mostly eating the Lean Cuisine and Weight Watchers Smart Ones meals, and when I'm not I'm making fairly good decisions.
Dinner is still a work in progress. This one is hard for two reasons. 1 - My husband and 2 boys want a real dinner...not a weight watchers meal. And 2 - this is a busy time of year, and feeling that starving feeling in your stomach when you realize it's 9p.m. and you haven't eaten yet, is going to happen sometimes, even with the best effort to keep healthy snacks handy. I'm getting better at eating "my food" while I watch J.T. and the boys eat what I'd rather have, but I'm not out of the woods on this yet. However, if "what I'd rather have" is keeping the "pounds I'd rather NOT have" on my lower half, then it's really not what I'd rather have, right? Right.
All that said, I'm still working on it. I haven't gotten it mastered yet, but don't give up on me. Like my friend Don told me once - "It's a marathon, not a sprint."
I do have more and interesting stuff to blog about, so check back soon...
Monday, March 02, 2009
This was the biggest snow we've had in Tennessee in probably 5 years. Personally, I'm ready for spring and could have done without, but the kids had a blast, so I guess it was worth it. I considered mtn biking in it, but Holly convinced me that it could mess up my bike, so I didn't. I'm not totally convinced of that, but then again, since I was still in my p.j.'s at 2p.m. I probably wasn't that serious about it anyway. J.T. was the snowman builder this time. I normally get out there and roll one up, but my mind is just too far gone toward spring to really get into it. So, I served as breakfast cook/camera woman and fixed bacon, eggs, oatmeal and biscuits; and shot video, took pics, and then learned how to make movies! I also did some work on the website I'm making for Briar's baseball team - http://ccmsbaseball.com. I don't have the pics on the front page, yet, but it's getting there.
Now, let's talk about food.
~the tone takes a nose dive~
I did really well Monday and Tuesday, and I think I did okay Wednesday, too. However, life around my house started getting really busy and hectic. I wasn't able to plan out all my meals, I got stressed out, I didn't get anything logged, and I ended up starving. Starving = falling off the wagon. I basically just went back to my old ways of eating what I wanted and used lack of time and lots of stress as an excuse. I do remember that I did very on Saturday, but not so much on Thursday and Friday. I don't have to have a log of how many calories I ate to tell that I haven't been eating right...I can tell by the way I feel and by looking in the mirror. My only hope, at this point, is that when I weigh in today at lunch that I will be the same as last week, although I doubt that will be the case.
All that being said, I'm not giving up.
"You have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face." -Gatorade
I have identified a major problem that I have with my diet. I eat really well and have no problem with it as long as everything is running smoothly and I'm being productive, etc. But when I start having to be 3 places at once with more things to do than I can possibly squeeze into the day, I start giving up on the diet. I must also note that I tend to do the same thing with my training. I survived this during Ironman by saying "the house is just not going to be perfectly clean while I'm training for IM" or "the laundry will get done at some point, I'm training for an IM" or "sorry, I can't make this meeting because I have a long brick today." Now there is no IM, so I expect my house to stay spic-n-span, I expect to pick up all those volunteer jobs I had to turn down last year, and I expect to be able to make it to 3 places at one time. And all that's okay, because afterall, that's what we triathlon moms do...but I have to quit throwing in the towel when it comes to nutrition...I have to pick it up and use it to wipe the sweat off my face and keep going...strong and steady.
Week 3 will be different. Watch me.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Positive notes: Smaller portions are becoming more comfortable and natural sugar is more satisfying after not having refined sugar for a few days.
Negatives: I am still thinking about when and what I'm eating all the time, and I don't like that. If I was to have a strawberry milkshake right now, I would spiral all the way down to the bottom and never return. It would be all over but the crying.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
|Skippy Natural Creamy Peanut Butter, 0.7 tbsp||63||6||2||2|
|Honey, 0.2 tbsp||13||0||3||0|
|Fresh Express Sweet Baby Greens, 1 cup||3||0||1||0|
|Maple Grove Farms Fat Free Balsalmic Vinagrette, 1 tbsp||5||0||1||0|
|Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Mesquite Smoked Shaved Turkey Breast 6 slices, 1.2 serving||60||1||1||7|
|Pear, fresh, 1 medium||98||1||25||1|
|Grapes, 1.5 cup||90||1||43||2|
|Frigo light string cheese, 1 oz.||60||3||0||8|
|Pistachio Nuts, 1.2 oz.||189||15||10||7|
|Tilapia filet, 4 oz||98||1||0||21|
|Rice, Kraft Minute Whole Grain Brown Rice, 0.5 cup||160||2||32||3|
|Asparagus, fresh, steamed 1 cup||31||0||6||3|
|Yellow squash, fresh, steamed, .5 cup||18||0||2||1|
|Broccoli, fresh, steamed, 1 cup||25||0||5||3|
I was also pleased that I got my carbs under 60% this time:
Monday, February 23, 2009
So maybe agreeing to log and blog EVERY day was a bit ambitious. It worked out well until the weekend hit, and then it just didn't happen. I don't spend a lot of time in front of the computer on the weekend when there is laundry to do, dust to be removed, bathrooms to clean, floors to mop, and fun to be had in between. So for Friday, Saturday and Sunday...I'm going to sum it up and say I did okay, just okay. I'm not really happy with it, but I didn't totally blow it either. I did find myself nibbling at things that I had no business putting into my mouth, and I also found myself hungry too much. I didn't plan out the meals as well as I need to, so I'm sure that contributed.
So today was the big weigh-in. The first time I've been on a scale since Monday-a-week-ago. I'll be honest, I didn't know what to expect. This past Wednesday I felt like I was making progress, but then I let the devil in on Thursday night, and I really haven't felt too good about it since. I did notice that my jeans felt somewhat looser on Saturday, but then Saturday night JT and I went to Kobe Steaks and I had a rum runner and a glass of plum wine with my dinner of Fillet Mignon,Lobster, and Chicken. Yeah, we splurged. It's like the first time we've been out on a date in I don't remember when. I brought back a lot of the dinner though, and ate it for lunch yesterday after an awesome mtb ride. So....I weighed today at lunch - clothes, shoes and all...and...drumroll please.....
Yes!! I am very pleased with that. That's 3 lbs lighter the first week. I'll take it, especially since my goal really only requires 1 - 2 lbs a week.
Week 2 is going well so far - I went to the rec this morning and ran a mile and a half with Briar, then did abs, curl bar, lat pull down, quads, hamstrings, and squat rack. Holly and I ran 5 miles in 42:58 at lunch, and then we followed it up with 70 lunges. Nutrition is on track - breakfast was my Kashi oatmeal, a teaspoon of Skippy Natural Peanut Butter, and a small drop of honey. Lunch was a few greens (I spilled the majority of them as I walked out of the breakroom-I'm so graceful), some deli turkey, Smart Ones Angel Hair Marinara, and a fresh pear. I've got masters swim tonight, and I'll probably be doing spin class tomorrow morning. I'm also going to check into the Paleo Diet like Bill suggested in the comments. Progress feels really good and is a great motivator.
Now, my Super Hero friends....they all took a trip down to Birmingham, AL last weekend and ran the Birmingham Marathon and half marathon. This is a very tough and hilly course, and they rocked it. My sister shattered my own half marathon PR with a 1:45:16! John and Jay also ran the half, and Heather, Tammie, Holly J., Jonathon, Tim, and Lee all rocked out the full marathon. Here they all are:
I decided not make the trip...my training had been sporadic and I really didn't want to spend the money on the late registration fee, hotel, etc. But it sure sounded like they all had a blast. These guys all pound the pavement day in and day out, and they have no doubt made me a better runner. Congrats Super Hero friends!!!
In other news, baseball is almost upon us, even if it is 32 degrees outside. Bo has one more basketball game, and then I'd say baseball will be in full swing. I think Briar has a baseball tournament of some sort this weekend. I'm loving the new MLB Network on Direct TV. The other day we all watched "The Sandberg Game" from 1984 where the Cubs played the Cardinals and Sandberg kept hitting homers. I could say one thing while watching it - "Man, those players sure were skinny back then."
I'm not really sure what baseball is going to have to do about the steriod fiasco. I think it's sad. It's ridiculous, and it's unfair for all the guys who've been playing it straight up during this era. Kinda like it's unfair to all of us who pay our mortgages no matter how bad it hurts, while the government bails out the ones who don't. However, I still love the game, and I still love America. I love it from watching Bo play coach-pitch, to Briar playing for his Middle School, to the Cubbies, Red Sox, Yankees...all of them. So bring on the summer, bring on some hot, sweaty rides and runs, and take me out to the ball game!
Friday, February 20, 2009
I took the advice of almost everyone I've talked to and ate more protein for breakfast - the egg beaters. I'll be honest, though, I did not notice that I was any less hungry than when I just eat oatmeal and a piece of fruit. Lunch was 1/2 a peanut butter & banana sandwich, steamed asparagus, and then I finished off the rest of the banana that I didn't eat in the sandwich. That was good, and I felt full. 3:30 came, and I ate a few grapes that I had here with me at work, but I really didn't want to eat anything else because the peanut butter had so many calories in it. That was probably a mistake, because at 7:00 when I picked Briar up from baseball, I was starving. At the same time, J.T. texts and asks about going out to eat mexican food because he's starving too. The kids are wanting mexican as well, and the tilapia I was going to fix at home just didn't sound filling enough. So we go to the mexican restaurant and I say "I'll only 4 or 5 chips." Yeah, right. Long story short, Bo and I shared chicken fajitas, I ate as many chips as I wanted, and I even used two tortilla shells. ~sigh~ So, I pretty much blew it for Day 4. I had no idea how to calculate the calories, but I did the best I could using calorie counters on the net. I'm not happy with the decision, but I'm not throwing in the towel, either. I'm back on track today, having a banana and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter for breakfast.
All that being said, I had already planned on allowing myself a meal like this on the weekends, occasionally. So that's certainly out for this weekend.
|Egg Beaters 1/2 cup||60||0||1||12|
|Nature's Own Double|
Fiber Wheat Bread, 1 slice
Natural Creamy Peanut Butter, 2 tbsp
fresh, 1 cup
|Grapes, .5 cup||30||0||14||1|
|Chicken Fajitas, 1/2|
skillet, 1 serving ???
|Flour Tortillas, 2|
tortilla (approx 7-8in. dia)
|Tortillia chips, 2 oz.||284||15||36||4|
I didn't bother making the ratio chart - I just want to put this day behind me and move on.