Sunday, December 9, 2012

Biking in the Basement

My biking has been nonexistent since the weather turned icky and my former gym closed. I started looking into bike trainers so I could bike all winter long. My sister had one she doesn't use, lucky me, and today we got it all set up in the basement. Right in front of the TV. :-)

I wish I could say I set the resistance too hard, but I'm pretty sure it was challenging because I haven't ridden in months. I was sweating within 7 minutes!

I'm so excited to be able to get some indoor exercise at home now! It will make the next four months of winter much more bearable!

Thanks K!

Monday, December 3, 2012

My Circus Act

If I ever joined the circus I'd have a balancing act or juggle. It can't be any harder than the balancing and juggling I do every day as a wife, mom, nurse, and athlete-in-training.

Take today for instance... I worked last night so I got to bed about 2 am. The alarm went off at 7:30 am, although I could hear the kids up already. After the older kids get on the bus and I take the youngest to preschool, I have about two hours all to myself before picking the preschooler up.

Now the conundrum: run, nap, fold the mountain of laundry, or catch up on cleaning?

In the end I went for a run, laid on the couch for 15 minutes while catching up on the news, then used my last free 10 minutes to wrap a few Christmas presents. All while consuming copious amounts of coffee to counteract the lack of sleep.

I folded the hundred baskets of laundry with my toddler's "help." It took at least twice as long with "help" than usual. :-)

As for the basement? Well, it's nice outside. We're going outside to play. The basement isn't going anywhere.

Balance means letting somethings go until a better time, and focusing on the most important things.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

So Thankful!

I have so much to be thankful for this year. In no particular order:

1. My husband.
2. My kids. Three sons who keep me on my toes, run with me, and for whom I want to be the best role model I can.
3. God.
4. The freedom to worship as I choose.
5. The freedom to love whom I choose. (And I hope this freedom someday extends to everyone.)
6. My sister. Yeah, YOU, who got me into this. ;-)
7. My brothers. Drinking buddies!
8. My mother, who has persevered through more than her share.
9. My father, whom I miss every day.
10. My other sister, that I've only recently had the pleasure to get to know.
11. My home. Small as it is, it's full of love. And paid off.
12. My car. It gets me from point A to point B safely.
13. My health. I can run, swim, bike, and race.
14. My family's health. Especially my youngest after a sick first year.
15. My brother-in-laws. One beat cancer, one cares for troubled youth.
16. My sister-in-law.
17. DB. Oldest friend, from when we were like 3. Triathlete!
18. Old friends.
19. New friends.
20. Facebook. The way we've reconnected with friends after years.
21. Max, my trainer. My body is in better shape now than in high school.
22. Coworkers/old classmates... Keeping me sane most nights.
23. My job.
24. The wine I drink after my job.
25. My adorable nieces.
26. Hannah, our amazing babysitter for the past 4 years!
27. Chocolate.
28. Wine. Beer. Vodka. Xanax. ;-)
29. Coffee.
30. And last, but not least, all the armed forces that keep us safe and protect our country.

My Turkey Trot 5k this morning was not one of my best (36:38), but I learned a very important lesson: forgetting to hydrate = bad cramping. Now it's time to join my family in celebrating our blessings.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Another 5k to feed the Addiction

It's official. I'm hooked. I'm by no means the fastest, but I LOVE the feeling of racing, and running, and finishing!

I love challenging myself to do a little better every time.

My last race of 2012 is this Thanksgiving. I still can't quite fathom that I went from "Me, running? You're crazy!" to "When's the next one??" in 6 months.

My first race EVER was June 29, and I'm proud to have competed three 5k's, two 3k's, and a triathlon since then.

As 2013 approaches, my goal for next year is two triathlons and seven or eight 5k's, March-November. One of my sons will also be doing his first triathlon in August. :-)

It's going to be a GREAT year!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

5k on the Runway

My first official TIMED 5k was yesterday, and I'm very happy with how I did. :D

I've been running at a consistent 11:30 pace, so my goal time was 35 minutes.

My official time was 32:58!!!!! With the exception of three 30 second walk/water breaks, I ran the entire time. My average pace was 10:38, almost a whole minute faster than my "go slow to go fast" pace, and only 38 seconds slower than my old "fast" pace.

I'm hooked now. I realize I have raced in June, July, August, September, and October so far this year. Coming up will be a November Turkey Trot 5k and a December Santa Shuffle 5k.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Nothing Beats a Semi-Custom Wetsuit

I called Promotion a few days after getting my wetsuit with concerns about the fit. They were so amazing! The size I wanted was out of stock (8T), and within minutes they offered to make me one, customizing the size slightly just for me! :-)

Seriously?! Who does that anymore?!

I'm thrilled to report that it fits wonderfully! Very snug but not to the point of "I can't breath." And with enough length and flexibility to FIT.

Now I need an unseasonably warm day for a test swim. ;)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chugging away for another 5k

I'm still working on "go slow to go fast." I'm up to 2.4 miles at a 11:30 pace without dieing. :) I'm also using the Galloway Method for running now. It's simple: plan in walking breaks. I run a loop, which is about 0.94 miles. When I hit that marker, I slow down and walk for 30-60 seconds while drinking my water and slowing my breathing. Then I do another lap, and so on.

My next 5k is on Saturday! This will be my first TIMED 5k! I'm very excited to see how I do; with my current pace I'm hoping for 35-40 minutes.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wetsuit Test Flop

The Lake was a nice 63°, with 4-6 foot waves and rip current warnings.

My sister was hungover from $1 drink specials, and there was no way I'd consider swimming alone. :(

Attempt #2 scheduled for the coming weekend.

Otherwise I may order the smaller size and see which one fits bests....

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Back in the Saddle...

Training for three 5k's and a triathlon... Got to get my patootie moving. :-)

Continuing with the "run slow to run fast" motto, today I did an hour of upper body weight lifting followed by a 1.9 mile run. Same slow 11:30 pace. My distance right now is two laps and not dieing. My goal before there's too much snow to run outdoors is 3 not-dieing laps. My spring goal is 4 laps 3.8 miles). Ideally, I'd love to run my bike lap course of 2.4 miles twice *comfortably* by next August. I won't need to run that far in the triathlon but it will help my endurance, and I'm training for endurance this year.

Endurance first. Speed second.

Which reminds me that I need a new bike course. I do about 7.3 miles in 3 laps, and it's boring going around and around and around the same circle. Especially since my August goal is 15-20 miles... That would be a LOT of laps!!

To do list: Find a local paved bike path at least 10 miles long. :)

Goal 2: Start running the longer Bike route (2.4 miles) for a challenging change of scenery.

Run slow to run fast.....
Only 330 days until the Super Sprint!

Monday, September 24, 2012

My new super blue Catsuit!

Has arrived! The fit is not quiet perfect, but it will definitely do nicely for the next 2-4 triathlons on the docket, and weekly summer swimming practices. I love the ankle zippers and the colors! It feels very sturdy too, like the Desoto I rented.

Still having sizing issues though. The first time I put in on these was extra fabric/air pockets at the crotch, chest, and under arms. I was afraid to really PULL and risk ripping it.

So after doing laundry, I tried it back on, this time using the plastic bag trick for my feet and hands. Much better! Once I got the legs pulled up to where they are supposed to go, the torso was higher up, getting rid if the underarm pockets, and the chest fit better. I'm sure it could be tighter, and only a few practice swims can check that.

Planning a swim Sunday morning. Water is a balmy 65°. :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

ZooRunRun 3k

One of my munchkins and I "ran" a 3k at the zoo today! It was a lot of fun, super chilly, and a bit crowded. The "run" part was a little disappointing though. The 3k run/walk participants got stuck behind the 5k walking group, so we had to wait a bit to get out of the crowd.

Munchkin did great! He needs to learn how to jog though. It went like this: sprint full speed ahead while Mom jogs, run out of breath, stop, Mom catches up, walk for a little while, repeat. But we did 2.3 miles in 40 minutes, and he was such a trooper!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"Go slow to go fast"

I recently asked Meredith of Swim Bike Mom for some tips on building my cardiovascular endurance. This is part if her reply:
"You want to work on building your aerobic "base" - meaning that you want to train in a low heart rate Zone to build your endurance. That may mean going very SLOW... but once you build your endurance you can go faster... Coach M says "go slow to go fast."

So today I tried it. Rather then my usual 'set the treadmill at 10 min/mile and go' approach, which often ends with me slowing to a walk after a mile, gasping for breath, I decided to go outside.

It's a gorgeous 60 degree day and all three kids were in school. There's an apartment complex a short walk away with sidewalks circling it. I stashed my water bottle by a tree, started up my MapMyRUN app, and off I went.

My mantra was Go Slow, Go Slow. First lap was 0.93 mile in 10:45. I stopped briefly to drink my water and stretch. [I also quickly texted my sister to tell her I ran 0.93 mile and DIDN'T feel like I was going to die.]

The second lap was actually EASIER. I had my SLOW pace going, easy peasey. Finished 1.88 miles in 21:48 at a calm 11:34 min/mile. I was a little out of breath, hot, and sweaty when I finished, but I didn't feel bad.

I felt good!

Day 1 of training done. 339 days to go. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mild Setback

As of today there are 340 days left until my next Chicago Triathlon. I had planned to start training again, but suffered a minor setback.

Last wednesday my youngest munchkin (2 years old) accidentally tossed a metal Thomas the Train at my head, slicing my right eyebrow open. Eh. No biggy. I had a plastic surgeon I know clean it and tape it closed with steri-strips.

That's when the fun started.

I went about my life with my two steri-strips. Gym. Work. Etc. The bruising was lovely, like fuchsia and purple eyeshadow from the 1980's.

Saturday morning I woke up with more swelling on my eyelid. Figured I slept on that side and all the fluid rushed to my eye. (Hey, I get puffy under my eyes most mornings.)

We drove to my brother's house for a local Wine Fest and family bonding.

Sunday morning I could barely open my eye.

We drove home, took one munchkin to tennis, and then I went to the ER. Four hours, two blood draws, and IV antibiotics later... I have cellulitis of the eyelid. Aka ,an infection.

On top of that, I can now add steri-strips to my list of allergies. For the rest of my life, "adhesive" is now listed as an allergy in my medical records.

Now I'm pumping myself full of antibiotics, antihistamines, and hanging out at home. The swelling is getting better but I still have the red cellulitis rash all over my eye area. AND the skin is pealing.

It's lovely... feels like the worst sunburn ever on top of a mass of spider bites.

Called in sick to work. Canceled the gym. Even skipped preschool yesterday.

So training will get put off another few days. I'll still have 335+ left. I am still doing the Zoo Fun Run on Sunday with a munchkin! Our race packets came in the mail and we're ready to go!

PS!!!!! My new wetsuit shipped and should arrive Monday! Yay!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Wetsuit Saga

My wetsuit came on Friday. I pulled it out of the box, and the first thing I saw was three circular indents right in the front. A closer examination showed the middle indent cut right through the wetsuit. :( I just about cried! Minor marks are one thing, but a hole right through the suit was another story.

Fortunately, the seller is willing to refund my money. He said it was in perfect condition when he took it to UPS, so either it was damaged during packing and shipping, or he was trying to full a fast one. Either way I'll be refunded.

Which still left me without a wetsuit, and October in Chicago will not be kind for open water swimming.

So I bit the bullet and ordered a new suit. :D ProMotion PowerGlide full sleeve suit. In blue and black. (Pink was out of stock in my size.) It was a little more than I planned to spend, but it's the only brand I've found with tall women's sizes. Plus, I have a hard time getting in and out, and this brand has calf/ankle zippers! :D

I can't wait to try it!

Monday, September 10, 2012

A little bit crazy

Unless something strange happens, I am now the proud owner of a wetsuit! Wow. I thought my sister was crazy when she bought hers last winter, and now I'm crazy too. Lol

It was a "fun" day of online shopping. I mean that very sarcastically. As I mentioned previously, I was watching a NWT wetsuit on eBay. After hours of internal debate, I decided to bid. I was very nervous about buying a size (men med long) I had never tried on. However, it was starting at $95, which is super cheap. I was the highest bidder until about 30 seconds before it ended. :(

I decided to go with Plan B... Order a Xterra Vortex on sale for $170, with a 30 day return policy. Pretty risk free. The challenge was the sizing. They have this nifty Size Calculator. When I enter female, 5'11"+, and 155 lbs, it says Men Medium. When I enter male, 6'1/2", and 155 lbs, it says Men Small Long. The PDF size chart also placed me in the Men Sm Long. I decided to speak to someone directly via Live Help.

The first person, "Lee", was no help at all. Lee said the length of the Sm Long and Med were the same, and the only difference between sizes was "how well I want to breath." Really?! Somehow "Casey" took over and was able to look up additional measurements, like bust, waist, and hips. He/She said my best fit would be a Men's Medium Tall.

Which has been discontinued and they're out.

Which was the size I lost on eBay.

Imagine my glee when another Medium Long was listed later today! Used twice (boo) but supposedly in perfect condition. For $100 'buy it now.' I asked the seller some questions, and now it's MINE!

Can't wait to see it!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Things I Never Thought I'd Say...

First would have to be "Let's do a triathlon!"

Oops, guess I can take that one off the list.

Second would be yelling at my boys regarding little boy parts in public.

But on the short list there would also be "Hey, wetsuits are on sale! I should buy one!"

Yup, I've been bitten by the "I need to train in my own wetsuit" bug. Upside: end of season sales, like 60% off. Downside: buying online means obsessing over size charts. And they ALL vary.

I've worn Orca women's XL, and unisex DeSoto 4 separates (my fav but too expensive for a newbie). The best price I've seen so far is Xterra at $170 (what I'd spend on two rentals). Or eBay. Got my eye on one there too.

But the size charts.... seriously? Yes, I have boobs. I'm also 6' and a smidge. The women's suits go to 5'11". At my height and weight, the "recommended sizes" vary from woman's medium to XL to men's medium. Depending on brand. Oy vay. :)

I'll keep you posted on what I end up with. As soon as it's here my sister and I are sneaking into Ohio St beach for a quick test swim.

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Little {Mascara} That Could

Genetics has blessed me with long blond eyelashes, and rarely a day goes by that I'm not wearing mascara. I wear it to the gym, work, lazy days at home, the zoo, amusement park, and county fair.

I also wear mascara swimming.

In preparation for the triathlon, one of my To Do items was "Get waterproof mascara." I had two requirements for this wonder product: darken my lashes and do not cause raccoon eyes.

Google led me to an article from with 10 different waterproof mascara options.

Their #1 pick was the $6 pink tube Maybelline New York Great Lash mascara. A quick trip to Target and I was set.

I can now attest to it's waterproof, sweatproof, and long lasting abilities. Applied at 5 am, it lasted through a swim, bike, run, shower, and hot tub.

It's now on my Must Pack list for my next race!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Day After...

AKA Random Exhausted Thoughts.

I'm exhausted. Beyond exhausted. Yesterday was my SUPER SPRINT TRI! I was up from 5 am to nearly 10 pm. Today was my sister's sprint triathlon, so I've been up since 4 am and it's now 9 pm. I've fed, bathed, and put three kids to bed. They have school tomorrow. I'm loopy. :)

And that makes my mind wander...

My race was AMAZING! I have decided to train for next year's Super Sprint instead of the sprint. Why the change of heart? Well, I want a medal. Or, at the very least, the Top Ten. Yup, that's it. I was 67 out of 102 in my division this year. I'm happy to be in the middle of the group for my first race. I'm proud of my 63 minutes!

However, next year I want under 50 minutes. 45 would be even better.

My swim was almost 17 minutes this year, and I KNOW I can do better than that. My practice was 12:10. My bike was 25 minutes (average 14.7 mph, a personal best!!!) so I'm very very happy with that for now (next year I'll be even better!). My "run" was almost 22 minutes; in the gym I can do a 10 min/mile, so with training I hope I can do the run in 15-16 minutes next year. And not die.

Misc musings... No injuries yesterday but two blisters today following my sister's race... Being a mom to three young boys on little sleep and post-race is harder than the race itself... Hot tubs are my friend... Park my bike in transition where I'll find it, rather than wandering through a few multiple aisles trying to find where my stuff is... And *definitely* accidentally toss my wetsuit on my running visor so it's cold and wet and SO REFRESHING to wear after the bike ride.

I'm crashing now... I have more great stories to tell soon!

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Unofficial time according to my iPhone: 1 hour 5 minutes!

The swim was tolerable. It was so shallow the water was only up to my chest. A think a few people walked the swim, and I will admit to walking in and out as much as I could.

The bike portion was a piece of cake. Three loops. I was nearly knocked over at dismount though and when I caught myself my left calf cramped up terribly.

The run was absolute, utter torture. I walked most of it. About a third of the way into it I started speed walking with a another Wave 8 W30-39 woman who was running slowly. We kept each other company and stayed at a steady slow run/speed walk pace. At the 200 m to go mark she encouraged me to run ahead. I was trying to watch for her at the finish line, and I hope to see her again next year! She made the run enjoyable!

Now I want food and a hot tub!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

T-36 hours! List making!

I have a list of lists for this weekend.
1. General gone-for-2-nights stuff
2. Race stuff
3. Transition stuff

I have extras of things I can't do without- contacts, clothes, goggles, and water bottles.

I have random things I never thought I'd ever need- Body Glide, baby powder, and weird Gatorade gel things.

I have things I didn't *need* but make me feel more ready- new bright towels for the transition area, more random Gatorade stuff, a Dipec waterproof iPhone cover so I can carry my phone with me, and a new hat, below (I feel weird racing in my Guinness hat).

I think I'm ready.... Hopefully I can fit it all in my bags tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

T-3 days, Adjustments

Resting, resting, resting. I have mildly sore shins and calves from a short brick on Monday, which I hope heal by Saturday.

Making a few minor adjustments on my bike seat height. It was feeling too low so I moved it up quite a bit higher. Feels great pedaling, but not so steady getting on and off because my feet barely touch the ground. So later tonight I'll lower it a smidge and take another test ride in the parking lot.

I'm also heading to Sports Authority tomorrow morning to pick up a water bottle for my bike WITH a straw. I haven't mastered the bike and tip to drink yet, and water isn't offered during my bike portion. I'm a little worried about dehydration, so I'd rather have water and not use than need it and not it.

48 hours until I'm heading to Chicago to check in at the Expo!!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Just a few more days!

Not much to say right now. I'm as ready as I'll ever be?

My bike is tuned up, my wetsuit is ready, my clothes are picked out, shoes all set.... Now its just a matter of nerves.

As a coping mechanism, I'm ignoring the triathlon that upon me, and focusing what's next.

~ September I am doing a 3K Fun Run with one of my 7 year olds.
~ After that I start training for the 2013 Chicago Triathlon Sprint, which is twice the distance I'm doing this year.
~ Next June I'm already signed up for the Dirty Girl Mud Run.
~ Looking to sign up for the Warrior Dash and/or Pretty Muddy Women's Mud Run, depending on dates and locations.
~ And August 2013 is the Chicago Triathlon. My 7 year old (^ the same one) will be doing the Chicago Kids Triathlon too in 2013. I think if I'm going to continue triathlons, which I'd like to, I will probably look into a custom wetsuit. I've looked at a few places online, and they don't cost much more then a standard suit. The downside is that I haven't found a custom place that makes two piece suits like the DeSoto. OTOH, if its custom it should fit perfectly and not need the two piece flexibility.

See, all this thinking about next year is helping me forget that I still need to get through this year. :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Practice swim

Its a week before the Super Sprint Triathlon, my wetsuit is here, and its time for an open water swim. I haven't swam real laps in months. Will I fail? Will I freak out in the dark water again? What have I gotten myself into?!?!?!?

I was feeling very very anxious. Look at the bottom picture.... where I'm sitting is Start. I couldn't see End. All I could see was "There is NO WAY I can swim that far. No way." I couldn't even spot the buoys that marked quarter mile and a half mile distances. Fortunately, my sister has swam here before and pointed out the landmarks near the buoys, and I had my goal in sight.

The Super Sprint swim is 375 meters, or about a quarter of a mile. My goal was to swim to that buoy, climb out, and walk back.

I got in the water, started swimming, and panicked. The water is dark. Murky. When I turn my head to breath all I see is sun and more water. My swimming went like this: swim 5 strokes, stop, stand, look around, calm down, repeat. My sister is wonderful, she stayed with me. I even had her watch my stroke to see if there was anything obvious. I am happy to report that, while I feel like I have no clue what I'm doing, I fake it very well, and I don't look like a thrashing dying dolphin.

I am also proud to say that when I was swimming freestyle, I was easily able to keep up with my experienced swimmer sister.

I made it to the quarter mile mark eventually, and there was no place to climb out, unless I was brave stupid enough to step over rocks and who-knows-what-else.

My sister continued on the the 1/2 mile marker, and I faced the swim back. My iPhone was around my neck under the wetsuit it its trusty waterproof case, so I decided to time myself going back. I set two goals: 1) no stopping. If I had to do the backstroke the whole time, so be it, but I was not stopping. 2) 20 minutes was my aim.

I'm sure I was a sight. I'd swim a little freestyle, roll mid-stroke (TY swimming lessons for that skill), swim a little backstroke, roll again, and repeat. But I didn't stop until my hands kept hitting the sandy bottom.

Drum roll please.... 12 minutes and 10 seconds. Not a record, but way, way better then I expected.

I'm going to ROCK on Saturday!

I surived!
I've got my toes in the water, @ss in the sand...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My Catsuit is here!

AKA, my wetsuit. Its black, shiny, skin tight, and made of rubber. The Catsuit.

I have a hard time finding clothes that fit in general; finding a wetsuit that fit well was a unique challenge. Women's wetsuits do not come in tall sizes, and Men's suits, which do have tall sizes, don't have much room in the chest for a woman's chest. So I went to, where they carry a multitude of brands and sizes. I sent them my stats, my shape, and my experience with other wetsuits. They recommended I try a DeSoto two piece suit so I could have different sizes on top and bottom, if needed. I received a size 4 and 5 top, and a size 4 bottom. The size 4's fit the best, but as usual the bottoms are short. :( Sometimes being 6" and slender is a pain in the patootie. (I can hear you all laughing as you wish for some of my inches... yes, woe is me.)\

I really do like the two piece design. Seems easier to get in and out of. The real test will be my open water practice....

Saturday, July 28, 2012

July 28, 2012: Mud Wars Chicago

This is my second 5K Mud Run, and it was lacking. My team had a great time! We matched, we helped each other out, we goofed off, and we drank A LOT of post race beer.

The Mud Wars course, etc, was a huge let down, especially after the amazing Dirty Girl Mud Run. According to another runner who had something (GPS, pedometer, etc), the race was NOT 5K, but closer to 2.5k. We kinda figured that out on our own as the finish line came up MUCH faster then we expected. There was no water. Yes, you heard me. NO WATER was offered before or during the run. After the run you could buy a bottle for $2. Ouch. I didn't see any paramedics on site, so its a good thing it was a cool day or people would have been dropping like flies. We got there early and only waited about 5 minutes to sign in, but I heard there was a 2+ hour line later. And finally, there were only a handful of obstacles. I ended up skipping the last mud pit, and I'm glad. My team was fine, but there was GLASS somewhere in it that cut quite a few participants.

Due to the poor course, both Living Social and Groupon gave full refunds. We all got our money back.

Which is good since we spent a ton on beer.

That was the best part, and we had a GREAT post-race. We swam fully clothed in Lake Michigan to clean off. Dried off in the sun. Hung out with old friends, made new friends, and drank more beer.

Hours after, we changed and walked 5k to Navy Pier for snacks and more drinks, before ending the day BBQ'ing on a rooftop with a fantastic view of Chicago.

I'd say "We won't do Mud Wars again" but I'm pretty sure this was the first and last Mud Wars Chicago. My sister and I are already signed up for Dirty Girl 2013!

Sister and I, clean pre-race
In our custom-made-by-me Mud, Sweat, & Tears team t-shirts
Our team mid race

Sister and I, post race (those are her husband's dirty hand prints)
That's me, tall lime to the left, finishing!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

June 30, 2012: Dirty Girl 5K Mud Run

This was AWESOME!!!!
I was so nervous I barely slept, barely ate, and felt like throwing up until about 5 minutes into the race. :) Once I started running with my teammate J, and noticed all the other non-athlete crazy costumed ladies around, I relaxed and really had a BLAST!
I army crawled through multiple mud pits, climbed a freakin' 8 foot plywood wall, over a net wall, under a net, through tires (twice!), up a rope, down a rope, over rocky hills, a water pit (although it was so dirty from all us Dirty Girls the water was brown), and 5K of "watch your step or twist an ankle" paths.
It was untimed, thank goodness.

Things I have learned.... 1. the loose outfit... NO GO! I thought it would be more comfortable once covered in mud. But in actuality I felt a bit frumpy compared the most of the girls in tight tanks. 2. DRINK WATER. 3. Consider putting my plastic bags over my socks and under my shoes. The water/mud squishing between my toes after Obstacle 2 was gross and eventually bothersome.  3. Watch were you leap. I was showing off for my kids at the last obstacle, leaped into the mud pit, and strapped both knees. Ouch. And 4. Bring a lot of towels for washing up afterwards.

Overall it was MUCH more then I anticipated. So much fun that while enjoying my free celebratory beer, my sister, brother-in-law, and I signed up for another 5K called Mud Wars. I'm just doing my part to spread the mud love. 

The last time I'm clean!
Over the 8 foot wall
Over a huge net wall... my sister took a great distance picture... I'll try to find it.
Running and trying not to twist or break anything... t
The other side of the net wall
I was threatening to muddy my sister/camera woman. ;)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Day 102, Bricks

My trainer is on vacation this week, so getting to the gym today was up to me. It's been too hot to bike outside, so I got on the stationary bike on level 10 for 6.2 miles (22 minutes). Feeling crazy, I then got on the treadmill and did 0.5 miles in 5 minutes.

I am a sweaty mess right now but I feel GREAT!

I'll be off this weekend at a Strawberry Fest with the family! Be back Monday!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Day 101, So Sad!

I came to post, and I'm ashamed that I missed my 100th day post. Yesterday was Day 100 on my journey to the triathlon, and I did nothing. I could have run. Or biked. Or swam. But I did nothing fitness related. Sure, I did other things, like haul kids around and play in the pool. But that seems pretty anticlimactic for day 100.

At least day 101 I ran. I shaved about 40 seconds off my 2.5k and a minute off my 2 mile run. Actually, I was pleased with myself. I am up to running consistently 6.2-6.4 mph throughout my run. I still walk a little at 4.0 mph, but my running used to be 5.5 mph. :-)


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Day 98, Happy Fathers Day!

I have THE BEST husband and father to our children ever!!

I worked late last night and got to bed around 4 am. So for Fathers Day my husband took all the kids to his father's house for pizza. His brother and niece were there too, so it was a great day of celebrating fatherhood.

I got to sleep in and have some rare time to myself. This is what I've done so far: Glee x2, Smash, two glasses of wine, four loads laundry, vacuumed, washed the kitchen floor, cleaned the panty (omg, I had a box of rice that expired in 2007!), and read a book. Best day!

My ankles and calves are still hurting. Tomorrow the older munchkins start summer school (fun classes) and I want to get a run in. My trainer is on vacation this week so I need to make an extra effort to do my own lifting. :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Day 97, Rest, Work

Rest... But not relax. Having issues with neighbors. Very high stress. If my legs worked right now I'd probably go for a run to let off steam. Its to the point of buying security cameras, thoughts of lawyers, and dreams of pressing charges (of some kind, just to get our point across).

I may or may not have had an extra glass of wine tonight... ;)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Day 96, Chicago Tri Kickoff Event!!

What an AWESOME DAY! My sister and I caught an 10:20 ish train to Chicago. We walked to Millenium Park, where the Kickoff was being held. Our goal was to get there around noon, when it first started, to get wetsuits for the Open Water Swim.

I had never worn a wetsuit before, and getting into it was interesting. First I couldn't get my foot through. So I applied this nifty product called Body Glide to my feet, ankles, and calves, and I could finally get it on. And then the wetsuit feels thick. I know its to keep me warm in the water, but on a sunny 89° day its just plain toasty.

Once we were registered and had our wetsuits, we sat in the shade and people watched. We watched them stare at us. Lol. At least three people asked about the wetsuits. My sis got a pic that I'll post of me waiting around.

We checked our bags with the staff, and around 1 pm we all headed to the spray fountains for a warm up. Picture 150 people in wetsuits doing jumping jacks, pushups, and crazy poses in 1 inch water....

Then we "jogged" to the Chicago Bean for more pictures.

After the photo ops came the run. Supposedly it was 2.5K, but it felt much, much longer in a thick wetsuit in 90° sunshine. However, I'm proud of myself.

We started at the front group, with the athletes, professionals, and coach. I stayed in the front pack until halfway. Someone said, "we just hit halfway," and my body said "wth?? I thought we were almost done. Shutting down...." At that point I walked a little and ran a little. I made an effort to walk up the hills and RUN AT FULL SPEED down the hills. Seriously, running down a hill is like carefully falling. Not a ton of effort for a bit of speed. :-)

A big issue was heat and dehydration. Next year I need to bring a water bottle with me. By the end I was dying. Not my muscles or breathing, but I'd have killed for ice water. Those wetsuits are freaking hot.

The end was awesome. I got to the beach, grabbed my water bottle, sat in the lake, and searched for my sis. She wasn't there. I LOVE my little sister, and unknowingly beating her felt great. Like "maybe I don't completely suck at this Triathlete thing."

Then she completely whooped my butt in swimming... :-) LOL!

The swimming was next and the cold water was heavenly after the run. This is when I really felt like we were all a team, a group, in triathlon training. Everyone helped everyone with zippers, sunscreen, caps, and goggles.

Half went to swim 0.5 to 1.0 miles (my sis) while the other half (me) attended the open water swimming class. Considering all my swimming has been in a pool, this was a shocker. Like, "panic can't breath" shocker. I'm a little embarrassed, but I couldn't do all the exercises. Between panic, sports bra, swimsuit, wetsuit, and upper respiratory infection, I could not breath. In hindsight I wish I had unzipped my wetsuit and tried without that layer of constriction. But c'est la vie. However, I learned a lot, my sister told me my stroke is actually good (Thank goodness), and I practiced swimming in open water, in a wetsuit, with people. Definitely a great experience.

Now I just need to practice more. And more. And more. In a lake.

After the swimming we had trolleys to take us back to Millennium Park and beer. Free beers! Then we had raffles, giveaways, and plenty of time to talk to other new and experienced triathletes. (I left with a shirt, towel, hat, and 2 pairs of sunglasses for the twins.)

The best way I can summarize is that I felt like a part of something. A part of something important. I AM going to be a triathlete.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day 95, Weights

I'm not really sure what we did today, but I liked it. :) Drop sets? It was a fast, high weight workout. I'd do 10 reps on a high weight, drop the weight a little, and do 10 more with no break. Rest. Repeat. Done. On to the next exercise. Lets see... back, chest (both push and pull motions), shoulders, dead lifts, lunges....

For my lungs I did 70 pounds and 60 pounds, for a total of 80 reps. More weight then a brother-in-law and more reps then my husband. Not bragging or anything. ;)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Day 94, Recover

I can't even label today rest... its all about recovery today.

On a Tri note... Friday I'm attending the Chicago Triathlon Season Kickoff Event with my sister. Its a "relaxing" 2.5k jog in a wetsuit followed by either an open water swim or an Open Water Swim Clinic. I'm doing the clinic! In fact, that's the whole reason I'm going... I've never worn a wetsuit or swum in Lake Michigan. I'm nervous and excited.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Day 93, 7 Hour Walk

I took the kiddos to Six Flags today. Oy vay. I pushed a 30 pound child in a stroller for 7 hours while chasing two other kids. My legs are aching. :) Not a big day for speed, but I got in a great endurance workout today. LOL!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Day 92, Faster run

Today's run I wanted to pushed myself. Days are ticking away, and I need to be faster and run longer (even if its just a minute). So I extended my C25Kish run to 5 minute blocks rather then 4 minute blocks, increasing my actually running by 10%. I was pretty consistent in a 4 mph walking speed and 6 mph running speed until the last run. Then I just wanted to see how fast I could go comfortably....

6.6 mph. That is a 9:05 minute mile. 6.7 mph was just a little too much, so 6.6 was like a sweet spot. So my next run at the gym I'm going to aim to do my running portion at 6.6 mph.

Today's workout was 2 miles in 24:10, and 2.5 miles in 30 minutes.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day 91, MIA

I'm sorry I've been gone for the past week. I was sick, and the baby also had a temperature up to 103°. So we did nothing from Monday to today (Sunday), went no where but the couch.

Baby still has a runny nose, but we're all heading to the gym tomorrow.

Only three more weeks until my 5K Mud Run!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Day 83, Wind

Went for a solo bike ride. It was so windy I found it a challenge to keep up my pace, much less work on going faster. It was disappointing. I need to be in the 16-18 mph range, and I'm in the 12-13 mph bracket right now.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Day 82, Swimming aversion

I've come to the conclusion that I don't enjoy swimming laps. It's not relaxing or rewarding. Rather, I find it frustrating and time consuming. However, I KNOW that if I don't at least practice a little my time at the Tri is going to be so bad that I may as well give up now and walk the whole thing. :(

I'm looking at more classes, preferably something for adults, unlike my last lessons...

Anyhow, in lieu of swimming I ran 2.15 miles in 25 minutes doing a modified C25K run/walk pattern. (With a cool down it totaled 2.36 miles/30 min.)

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Day 81, Super Sets

What an icky day today!!! It's pouring rain and 52°. Blah. It's a "stay in bed all day" day. I wish.

Hit the gym this morning to lift weights. We did Super Sets, both upper and lower body. I was even doing modified pull-ups today. ;) My left hip was hurting though; I had to stop doing inclined leg lifts after just a few. I'm sure it's the weather as that exercise hadn't hurt much in the past.

Now I'm chilling with littlest munchkin before I head to work.

The plan is to run (or bike) and swim tomorrow first thing so I can go out to lunch with my hubby. ;)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day 80, Alternant Rest Day

I think I'm coming down with a bug. One munchkin had a sore throat over the weekend, and another has been super grouchy. I feel tired down to my bones today. I'm going to have dinner and pie with the family (it's my husband's birthday), put the kids to bed, and put myself to bed. Tomorrow is a long day.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Day 79, First Brick

First brick today. Biked 6.2 miles (22:40 at level 10) and then ran 0.3 miles (3 minutes). I could have run more but it was a spur of the moment thing and I wasn't wearing running shoes or a good sports bra.

It really is amazing how heavy and stiff the legs feel when going from biking to running!

Tomorrow we're going to try to hit the pool. :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Day 78, Happy Memorial Day!

I hope everyone had a lovely three-day weekend! My extra long weekend has thrown my workout schedule off a little, but I'm still getting things done. :)

Today I went to the gym for another c25k day. I'm still only at 2 miles in 25 minutes, but it's feeling easier then when I restarted running, and more importantly, I don't hurt.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Day 77, 98° and pool!

It was beautiful out today and we were finally able to appreciate the community pool. I jumped in, new bikini and all. :) After years of training, my arms, back, and legs are sinewy strength, while my "I had three kids AND a crappy gene pool" middle is still a work in progress. But I rocked my bikini. :D

I have also come across an idea for my next tattoo. It'll have to wait until after the triathlon (water germs!!!) but I'm already so excited! This is the style, Not the actual picture, going from under my right breast and down my ribs and outer side...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 76, Slurpees (and Biking)

Older munchkin and I went for a bike ride today after the roads dried up after our earlier storms. When we were done we stopped at 7-11 for Slurpees. :)

Tomorrow it's going to be 97°. We're heading to the pool!! I just got a waterproof cover for my phone so I'm going to have my hubby record my swimming so I can check my positioning. So excited!

AND my yellow bike water bottle holder came today too. It's so pretty!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Day 75, New Pool!

Thanks to a Living Social deal, I picked up a 6 week gym membership for $30, just because they have a pool and a Kids Room. It's farther then my regular gym (30 minutes vs 10 minutes) but I only need to swim twice a week or so. If I feel the desire, they also have a ton of classes and a running track.

I did Total Immersion swimming beginning drills and a few laps. At first the balance frills were hard- my legs tend to sink. I eventually skipped ahead a little bit to drills that have me swimming on my side with one arm extended and one down. That was easier, less sinking. I felt a little silly through practicing floating and always consulting my kindle for tips and drills. But I figure I didn't know anyone there so I shouldn't care what they think.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 74, 440 Reps

Another weekly weight lifting day! I figured it's been about 48 hours since the car accident and no aches or pains developed, so I'm fine.

Today we did a pyramid circuit for lower body. 20 reps each. With weights. Leg presses then butt blaster. Then leg presses, butt blaster, and stationary lunges. Then leg presses, butt blaster, stationary lunges, and step ups (onto a weight bench). Finally leg presses, butt blaster, stationary lunges, step ups, and walking lunges. (If you're counting, that totals 280 reps.)

I'm surprised I can still walk.

That was first. Then we did back (pull downs) and shoulders. 20 reps, 4 sets for each. (another 160 reps...)

But wait, there's more! I worked tonight in a different nursing role, that had me running all over the hospital for 8 hours. I really enjoyed it, but now I am exhausted. :D

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 73, Doctor visit

I already had today's appointment scheduled but I was extra glad to be seen after yesterday's accident. I'm good!

The rest of the day was eaten by meeting a new speech therapist for littlest munchkin and then shopping for a new car seat. Both accomplished. :-)

Tomorrow is weight lifting, a run, and work. Friday I *have* to 1) get to the pool, and 2) get an estimate for car repairs.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 72, Car Accident

I'm fine. Baby is fine (thank God, since she hit his door). Car needs work. And a new car seat for littlest munchkin.

I was shaking for a hour and skipped my workout. It sucks. I was packed and ready to go too. Tomorrow HAS to be a better day. After I find and install a new carseat. Good golly....

Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 71 1/2, holy heck...

I'm looking at my sister's pictures from her 2011 Triathlon, and I'm thinking "What the heck did I get myself into?!?!"

I don't want to finish last, and it's all so terrifying!!!

Good night!

Tomorrow I go to a new gym with a pool and a Kids Room to practice what I've read in the TI book and in my lessons.

I hate new. I like known and comfortable. But as I've mentioned, I don't want to be last....

Day 71, Rain and Shine

Today was supposed to be a swim day but the rain made it impossible to get into the mood to swim this morning.

However, the sun came out about the same time my husband got home! I did a brief 4.55 mile bike ride.

I'm disappointed. I don't know if it's just being tired from the biking and running this weekend, but it was SO hard to bike today. Every pedal was an effort.

I did find it easier to go faster when I was bent over, and after a couple miles of that my arms were dying. My sister has Aerobars on her bike and I pretty sure I need them too.

I'm enjoying making tweaks to my bike as I learn what I like and what I need. :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Day 70, Race Times

I've been looking over last year's Triathlon times in my group (F30-39) to see where I am now and where I need to be by August. Just looking at my workout list I'm about 27 minutes for the bike, 17 minutes for the run, and maybe 15-20 minutes for the swim. That puts me at 59-64 minutes, not including transitions.

My goal is to finish under an hour, which would put me in the middle of the pack. With three months still to train, I think its doable.

The best times were 43-46 minutes (with 16-19 mph bike rides!) and the end of the group finished around 1:07-1:20.

Today was also a RUN day. I'm getting back there... 2 miles run/walk in 25 minutes. With a cool-down I did 2.28 miles.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Found a yellow bottle holder!

I found *two* yellow water bottle holders for my bike! :D I bought the $7 one on Amazon. There's also a $10 one but I can't imagine the cheaper one won't work. All it has to do is hold a water bottle....

I've ALSO found *yellow* metal pedals!! I've got them saved in my cart for now, but I'm SO tempted! Right now I have black plastic pedals...

Day 69, Really Biking

My biking buddy didn't feel like joining me today so it was my first time to really bike a 10k+ route, and see how fast I could do it. I'm not sure if I did good or bad, but I'm still pleased: 7.16 miles in 31 minutes. I averaged 13 mph and 4:26 min/mile.

For comparison, my last "alone" long outdoor bike ride was May 4. I did 5.12 miles then, averaging 12 mph and 4:55 min/mile.

Definitely improving!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Day 68, Rest

Friday was a rest day. Had a great day hanging out with my family. My youngest cousin leaves for the Air Force on Sunday so all the cousins went out for dinner tonight at our favorite restaurant. Nothing says "Good luck!" like lobster, filet mignon, wine, wine, champagne, and more wine. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day 67, Circuits

Max warned me: "You're going to hate me today." Within 10 minutes of lifting I was giving him *the look of death.* By 15 minutes I was wondering why I hadn't stayed home. After 20 minutes I was trying not to throw up.

I am really going to hurt tomorrow. :D

No pain, no gain!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Day 66, Eh

It was cold today! I can't wait until we have consistently warm weather. The kiddo/biking partner only lasted seven minutes before succumbing to the chill and asked to turn around. We did a whopping 1.75 miles, LOL!

I suppose I *could* have gone alone, but did I mention it was cold? And windy? And cold?

I did make some adjustments on my bike though! I added a raspberry colored water bottle holder and changed the seat. The new seat is a little wider and a little more cushiony, but still smaller than the über comfort seats.

I'm still looking for a bright canary yellow water bottle holder too, if anyone has a lead on one. Got to dress up my black bike. ;-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day 65, Overwhelmed

Feeling a little overwhelmed with triathlon training. It was easy to alternate jogging and biking days, but now that I have to add in swimming practices too, it all seems like so much... I have 8 workouts to do over 6 days every week (so I have 1 day of rest): three c25k walk/jogs, 2 bike rides, 2 swimming practices, and 1 session of weight lifting.

I can combine a run or stationary bike ride with the weight lifting day (assuming my legs still work after 120 lunges), and I can combine a run with a swim. But the trick is not having the same thing two days in a row. Another factor is that the gym with the pool is 30 minutes away, while my regular gym is 10 minutes away.

I've been working on a schedule and this is what I have so far....
Monday run and swim
Tuesday bike
Wednesday run
Thursday weight lifting
Friday run and swim
Saturday OFF
Sunday bike

Today I'm going to do the c25k day I meant to do yesterday. As soon as my hubby gets home I'm outta here!

I did 30 minutes on the treadmill alternating walking and running, totaling 2.28 miles. Not great, but hey, its not too bad for my second day back at running.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day 64 1/2, Thank YOU viewers!

Thank you to all my viewers and readers. I really do appreciate it! The whole point of this blog is *daily accountability.* If I didn't have readers there would be no accountability. I could not do this without you. Thank you.

For those curious, 58% of my views are from the USA, 30% are from Russia (wow, Thank you!), 7% are from the UK (TY!), 2% from Germany (Hi Phil and Nicole!!!), 2% from Canada, and 1% from everywhere else.

Day 64, C25K w4d2... Or NOT ;)

Following the "skipped-ahead" version of my Couch To 5K app, I'm on week 4 day 2. It alternates times of walking and jogging for a total of 31 minutes. Littlest munchkin is napping right now, so I"ll have to wait until my husband is home to go run. I was planning on going to the gym but its so nice outside right now that I may jog around the neighborhood instead. :)

I'll update this evening with my distances.

An older son wanted another bike ride tonight, and how could I say no? So munchkin and I did 5.5 miles at 6 mph. Then he went in to get ready for bed, and I did a quick 2.5 miles at 14 mph. :D

I may not work up to the best speed/time for my tri, but I'd NEVER trade that for these brief times with my kids. Kids grow up SO fast... I'll take every minute they give me.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Day 63, Biking with Son

Leisure biking. :) For Mother's Day I want to bike 6+ miles and following it up with a bottle of wine. A munchkin wanted to join me (the one with the new bike). As I type this we're taking a water break after 2.5 miles in 20 minutes. He wants to do the 2.5 mile circle again.... We're ready to go!

We did 7.22 miles together in an hour. Certainly not a speed record, but I was very impressed with his 7 year old stamina and determination to keep going. And I did exceeded my goal distance today. :D

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Day 62, Swimming Lesson #4

Sorry readers, there was only a mild mutiny today. Mostly, because there wasn't much to mutiny against. Maybe the instructor reads my blog....

So the first thing I did when I arrived for my lesson was pull out my trusty iPhone and show the instructor the video of the ideal TI freestyle. He readily admitted to not being familiar with Total Immersion Swimming, and thought it was impressive. I told him *THAT* is my goal.

He had to set up the lanes for our lesson, so I worked on the TI Drill #1, just floating and finding my balance. Definitely harder than it sounded like in the book. My long, lean, muscled legs wanted to sink like cement. But I worked at it.  I was going to attempt Drill #2, but teenage instructor was back and encouraging me to try the bilaterally breathing again. Since it was MY idea to learn it last week, I figured now would be a good time to practice.

So I used the time to practice lateral and bilateral breathing. I'm learning that my comfortable breathing pattern is like Right Right Left Right Right Left.... In addition to the freestyle I also did a few laps of backstroke and breaststroke, practicing turning while changing strokes.

I'm not going to win a medal, but I won't need to be fished out at the Triathlon either. :)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Day 61, Considering Mutiny

As I keep reading the Total Immersion swimming book, I think about my swimming lately. I *just* got to the drills section in the book. Even though I'm making progress with my current swimming lessons, I think there's more to learn. I'd like to just start at Drill 1 to see how my balance is, and go from there.

Which brings me to the Mutiny.

Tomorrow is my 4th swimming lesson. Would it be terrible to say, "Hey, I want to do this THIS WAY, not that way." I paid for a private adult lesson, so I've essentially paid for a private lane for 30 minutes. I kind of just want to use it and skip the teenage "instructor" teaching; he still gets paid. ;)

Thursday, May 10, 2012


It was another late night at work. I least I'm off until next Thursday so I can recover, relax, and train. :)

Even absolutely exhausted, I managed to get to my training session for weight lifting. Single arm lat pull things, deadlifts, lunges from hell (120 lunges holding 10 lb dumbbells straight up over my head), rowing... I swear there was more but I can't remember at the moment.

Now I'm enjoy some wine before crashing. Just happens to be in a wine glass that an older munchkin accidentally broke a few minutes ago...

The highlight of my day, mostly understood by anyone with kids.... The youngest munchkin used the potty 3 times this afternoon with only one accident!! I'm ready to be done with diapers!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day 59, Coffee!!

4 hours of sleep does not make for a good workout day. I'll be collapsed on the couch until my IV of coffee starts working. ;)

In running news, it was suggested to me to look at the C25K program to help me gently get back into running. I downloaded a free app and I'm going to start at Week 4 Day 1. If the program works I'll be back up to 3 miles in 4-5 weeks.

Day 58, The Treadmill

I'm gently testing the water. I got back in the treadmill today. :)

I decided to backtrack to the beginning. I alternated walking at 4 mph and jogging at 5.5 mph. 3 min walk/1 min jog, 2 min walk/2 min jog, 1 min walk/3 min jog, and repeat. I did 2 miles that way in 25:45. Not the best time, but it's a [gentle] start.

After that I did a quick 2 mile ~ 7 minute ~ Level 11 bike ride. And for the first time I can remember, I actually was dripping sweat onto the bike handles. (I cleaned them when I was done!)

That was this morning. Since then I worked a crazy busy 10.5 hour nursing shift, and I'm about to say goodnight after a 19 hour day. And guess what? I'm not having knee/shin pain!!!!

Only 1 month and 3 weeks left until the 5k!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Day 56, Storms

We're having thunder and lightening storms right now. I love it! It's a "curl up with a warm blanket, hot cocoa, and good book" day. Cozy and quiet.

Oh wait. I have three kids. I guess I'll have to amend today's plan to "blanket, cocoa, and kid movies."

Either way, it's a great day. :D A rest day after three days of training. And the icing on the cake: canceled from work tonight! Woohoo!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Day 55, Bilateral Breathing

Is harder than it sounds.

I figure since I'm learning how to swim the Freestyle, I might as well learn how to swim it breathing bilaterally.. Basically it means instead of turning my face to the right every time to breath, I alternate my breathing between both sides.  This link has some good info on it, plus videos. It'll help while swimming in open water (waves), and for keeping my eyes out for other swimmers on each side. Honestly, I thought I'd feel more out of breath having an extra stroke between breaths, but I actually felt calmer. Instead of inhale-exhale-inhale-exhale, its inhale-eexxhhaaaallee-inhale-exxhhaaaallee. Kind of like the Yoga breathing that Total Immersion Swimming talks about in the book.

The only problem I encountered today was turning my head to the left enough to not inhale water, while not actually lifting my head out of the water. I'd make it about half the length of the pool before getting a mouthful of water, resulting in a coughing fit. And repeat. LOL!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Day 54, Root Canal

I'm expecting to have a root canal done this morning, so I don't anticipate feeling much like exercising. If anything changes I'll post an update. :(

Addendum: NO ROOT CANAL!!!

In celebration I went on my first longer outdoor bike ride. I did 5.12 miles in 25 minutes, with an average speed of 12 mph. It was fun but a little disappointing since I was averaging 14-16 mph on the stationary bike. It's much harder outside. I also need to find a better route since this ride was just back and forth, back and forth. Fortunately I have plenty of time to improve. :-)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Day 53, Lunges

Thursday workout day... lots of lower body. Drop sets, 15-12-10-8, increasing the weight each time. Leg curls, leg extensions, squats, and walking lunges. Lunges always are double (15 each side = 30 lunges). The only weight I noticed was my set of 8 leg extensions.... 90 lbs! Then some chest and back.

At home I did a couple hours of "chase littlest munchkin on his bike" and then a short bike ride with an older munchkin to the park.

I love having a bike! I was telling my husband tonight how much FASTER we get to the park by bike than by walking, and that older munchkin piped in, "Duh Mom! Its a bike!"

I will say that on the ride home I had to use the sidewalk, with it's billion bumps, and the ride felt smoother than the first time I road on it. My toosh must be adjusting. :-)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Day 51, Brick-ish

I did my first pseudo-brick today: 6.3 miles on the bike followed by 1 mile on the elliptical! It wasn't as bad as I expected, although I'm sure running after biking is much harder.

I'm also excited to see that my bike time was faster without even trying. 6.3 miles in 23 minutes versus 6.2 miles in 24:41. :D

Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 50, Its Official!

I'm officially signed up for the 2012 Fleet Feet Sports Super Sprint Triathlon, on Saturday, August 25th!!!!

I meant to wait until I was done with swimming coaching/lessons, but excitement and anticipation zoomed ahead! I've proven to myself that I CAN DO IT! I can do all three parts and survive. I may not have the best time, but I will finish. And I do NOT plan on finishing last.

Honestly? A part of me was also waiting... wondering, if maybe, juuuuust maybe, I could do the regular triathlon with my little sister this year. Alas, NEXT YEAR is my goal. This year I'm a triathlon baby with a bum knee, weak abs, "I won't drown" swimming skills, and a brand new "gotta get used to me" bike.

Next year Kate, I'll race you! ;)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 49, Saddle

I'm looking at more comfortable bike saddles.... I love everything else about my bike, but the seat hurts my tooshie.  I'm sure part of it is that I'm not used to riding a bike outside, with all the bumps and jostling. The sidewalk is a killer!  It's also a men's bike with a men's seat, and I am not a man. ;)  My "sit bones" are not the same as a man's, especially after having kids.

Since my bike doesn't have the suspension of the comfort bikes either, I've been checking out sprung saddles for a little built-in suspension. The Brooks seem popular but they're a tad expensive. Google also brings up info on Velo, as well as a few that appear only sold in the UK. 

Did another short 2 mile ride with one of the munchkins. Its a touch warmer than yesterday, but still windy and overcast. I was pretty cold by the time we got back. I can't wait until nicer weather!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 48, Swimming Lesson #2

I am finally getting the freestyle/crawl stroke! Today I had my second lesson and we worked on breathing, adjusting my shoulders to keep my body straighter (I lift my left should too much), more breathing, and then we did some laps in freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke for practice.

Honestly, once I *got* the freestyle I'm amazed at how much faster it is then the breaststroke. I've also ordered the book Total Immersion Swimming for my Kindle and I'm looking forward to reading it and practicing the drills. Breathing is my #1 issue right now.

Its 40 degrees out today but I promised one of the munchkins we'd go for a bike ride once my husband gets home. :/ He just got a new bike yesterday and has been really looking forward to riding further than our parking area.

Edited to add: We did a quick 2 miles up and down the street. My hands were ice cubes. Brrrrrr.....

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 47, BIKE DAY!

I have a bike!!!!! I am now the proud owner of a Specialized Sirrus Sport! It was a 2011, so I got nearly $200 off. :) It only took 5 weeks, hours of research, many many test rides, and random luck.

I was planning on getting the Trek 7100. It's comfortable and pretty. And $485. I also can't fit aerobars on it. :/ So I retested some bikes, and thought the Giant Escape 2 would work, and I liked the $389 price tag.

But, being the super crazy indecisive person I am, I wanted to re-retest them. I was a bit embarrassed to go back to the local nine shop AGAIN so I googled bike shops in a neighboring town. A quick stop turned into three more test drives and a 2011 model sale!

I'll probably get a more padded "comfort" seat for longer rides, but that's an easy fit. Everything else is great! Yay!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 46, Weights

Its Thursday, and Thursday usually means Weight Lifting Day. Today we did drop sets and lots of movements combining upper and lower body exercises to make the most of my hour.

After weight lifting I hopped on the bike for a short 10 minute (2.5 miles) ride.

I'm also very excited to be BIKE SHOPPING this weekend!!! Its finally Sale Weekend! I'll be able to test ride the Giant Demo Fleet and the Trek bikes I've been considering. One of the munchkins has been asking for a new "faster" bike, so we'll be checking out kids bikes too.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 45, Laps

I'm not a "group sports" person. I like to do my own thing without having to socialize. Running, biking, even weight-lifting are pretty much solo sports. Put in earphones and go. No interaction required.

You'd think that swimming laps back and forth is also a solo sport. Nope! Swimming is actually a social sport. You need to talk to the person or persons that you're sharing a lane with. You have to look out for them and the people in neighboring lanes. There are no headphones, iPods, or TVs.

There's actually multiple websites all about swimming etiquette! And the park district pool I was at tonight broke most of them. I won't go into details in this post, but I'm seriously considering a short-term membership at a gym with pool and childcare.

Tonight I did 7 laps, which is about the distance in the race. :D 95% was breaststroke. I tried freestyle but I was too self-conscience. At this early stage I think building endurance is more important.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Day 44, Wine

I love wine. I drink 1-2 glasses of red wine nearly every evening. I blame my little sister, who introduced us to the local Wine Club a couple of years ago. Our tastes have slowly evolved from sweet desert wine to now enjoying most good red wines and a few white wines.

Tonight we went to our first Wine Club Members Event- Cooking With Wine. It was amazing!! Four courses, each paired with a never-ending glass of wine. Blanc de Blanc, Unoaked Chardonnay, Shiraz, and a Sparkling Sweet Red. This was definitely a "plan to call a taxi or a friend" night! On a Tuesday!

No workouts today, just rest. :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 43, Better Biking

I biked 7.6 miles today in 30 minutes. I could have done more, but I got bored. ô_Ô I can't read while I'm on the stationary bike, and I took my glasses off (I don't like sweaty glasses) so I couldn't see the tv either... Soon I'll be able to bike outside!

Swimming tonight still tbd. Four lap lanes are open tonight from 5-8 pm. Hubby probably won't be home from his workout until 7, and if it's crowded I won't swim. I can't swim straight so I don't want to share a lane yet. I'd crash into the other swimmer for sure. :(

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 42, School

I'm officially a college student again! Oh, to be back in my 20's. ;)

I am sick and tired of not being able to communicate with a portion of my patients, so I'm taking Spanish 121 (the lowest level) this summer. If that goes well I'll sign up for Spanish 122 later in the summer or in the fall.

Mom2Triathlon news: I can walk. Barely, but I can. This morning was the worst, but now that I've been up for 17 hours I'm warmed up and stretched out. :D I was actually amazed at how sore my butt was. All that kicking I suppose...

Tomorrow is Monday, a brand new week. In theory, I plan to start the day with a 6.2 mile bike and end the day with some laps at the park district pool. We shall see. ;)

Thursday I finally get a real bike!! I'm excited but starting to question my sanity... $500 for a bike?!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 41, Swimming lesson #1

I woke up this morning so stiff and sore from yesterday that I could barely walk. Fun.
I was a little nervous for my first lesson today. I had no idea who was going to be the instructor, and I was picturing a teenager who wouldn't be able to help much. They mostly teach kids who don't know how to swim. I know how to swim, I just need to learn how to do it better.

Yeeaaahhhh. The instructor WAS a skinny teenage boy. And yeah, he was expecting a kid. The expression on his face when they called my name and I stepped forward was priceless. And a little embarrassing. Couldn't they have put a little note by my name "ADULT"?

So I explained the purpose of my swimming lessons: survive a 0.25 mile swim in Lake Michigan for a triathlon. He asked where I have been swimming. Um, no where yet. [blush]

First we practiced kicking. Kicking wasn't too bad, it just needed to be a little smaller, more controlled, less knee bend. Then we did freestyle. I warned him that it was my worst stroke and it was going to be funny. Yuppers, he tried really hard not to laugh. I know the steps, but doing them is much harder then it looks. I really need to work on the breathing, because I only can make it 1/2 a lap before I feel like I'm not getting enough air. We worked on it for quite a while, and I need to back and practice.

Then we did the breaststroke, which he said was my strongest stroke, and the backstroke, which I also did decently (only needed to adjust my hands).  

The lesson ended with doing two laps any stroke I wanted. I started with the freestyle for practice, and ended alternating with the breaststroke and backstroke.

I raise a glass to all the swimmers out there! I was more out of breath after two laps than I am after a 6 mile bike!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 40, Gym

Hi ho, hi ho, off to the the gym I go....

An hour of weight lifting this morning, followed by a quick 4 miles on the bike (14:55, level 8). I'm feeling good. Sore, but good. My knee/shin spot isn't bothering me at all, so I know its got to be an impact thing. I was doing single leg presses with a good amount of weight for 3 sets of 15, with no pain.

Tomorrow is my first swimming lesson!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 39, Spray Park

Today is usually a weight lifting day, but my trainer had an emergency, so it's been moved to tomorrow. Which meant I was free to take littlest munchkin to an indoor spray park at a local park district! He loves the water, and I've been wanting to go for a while!

At first he didn't want to go in the water, but by the end I had to carry him out kicking and screaming.

It was lovely. There was a small group there of special needs kids with family members (moms, grandmas, and at least one older sister), and those ladies were SO calm and patient, and everyone was friendly. I'd love to go back when they're there again.

Munchkin and I spent nearly the whole time going up and down the water slide. We did swim briefly, but then back to the slide. :D

Plus.... After a month of serious exercise and better eating, I rocked my bikini. Now I just need a tan. ;)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 38, Summer planning

First, no, I didn't get to the gym to bike like I planned. It was more of a "I'm frickin' exhausted from a crazy night at work" and "I still have a cold" day.

Yes, I realize they are excuses and I could have dragged my sorry butt to the gym if I reeeaaallly wanted.

Does chasing a two year old for 10 hours count? ;)

Anyhoooo, SUMMER PLANNING! You already know my summer plans. I've got little tickers counting down the days on the right side --->
Today was planning for the kiddos. I have one who is into science and sports, one who likes video games and goofing off, and the littlest munchkin, who is still content with water, dirt, and being outside. As of tonight we are officially signed up for two weeks of Gifted classes, and planning to sign up for Circus Camp, tennis camp, and vacation bible school. It's a little overwhelming! Of 10.5 weeks of summer vacation, I have 6-7 weeks already planned already. Ouch.

Oh, and have I mentioned I'm going back to school this summer for Spanish classes.....

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 37, Better

Today was another day of resting, and now I can walk without hurting. I'm thinking Stationary Bike for tomorrow. And homemade parmesan pork chops for dinner. :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 36, RICE :(

Yup. One run, and I'm in pain again. Dr Google has me thinking it's more a muscle or tendon pull. It hurts to stand, walk, or move. So rest, ice, elevation, and compression for now. No running for at least two weeks, maybe three. Luckily I'll be able to swim and bike while I'm recovering. But I'm thinking my distance running career is over before it's started. ;)

6:25 pm note: Damn, this hurts! I just can't get comfortable! Ice, ACE, pillow, grrrrr. Hot bath is next. I don't really want to take any medication. If I can have a baby without pain meds, I can handle a sore knee/shin/muscle/tendon thing.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Day 35, Back in the Saddle

After two days away from the gym, it was time to get back to training.

It was such a nice day that I decided to run outside. I estimated a route about 2 miles and set out with the MapMyRun app. I ended up doing 1.9 miles in 22:18 according to the app.

The first half was nice although I became winded much faster than I usually do. The second half ended up being against strong wind! I couldn't believe how hard it was to run against the wind.

This is a screen shot of the breakdown of my run. The first mile I averaged an 11 min/mile pace, while the second 0.9 miles was a 12.45 min/mile pace. LOL! See how much more difficult it was running AGAINST the wind?! (edited to add that a quick check at the Weather Channel told me we're having winds in the 25-35 mph range, with gusts up to 45 mph)

I will say though that I'm not 100% convinced with the speed accuracy. If you look where the speed (blue line) dips low, when I highlight it on the program it gives me numbers like 350 to 1000 min/mile, and I'm pretty sure I didn't walk that slow!

Swimsuit success!

My Athleta suit came yesterday, and I think it's going to work! It's long enough and fits pretty snug. And all one piece.

Everything is coming together. :) Swimming starts on the 21st and I get my bike on the 26th. Hopefully the extra days off have helped my knee too. I'm going to run today so we'll soon see.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day 34, Sleep

Oh my gosh. I am WAY too old for 4:30 am bedtimes. (See yesterday's post.)

I spend ALL day today sleeping. First I slept in until 10. Then I woke up to a headache. Or more like a face-ache. My sinuses were killing me. I felt like it could be a sinus infection, but I didn't feel like calling the doctor. Sudafed and Advil seem to help. So I got up at 10, drank some coffee, grabbed a box of tissues, and climbed back into bed. Woke up around 1:30 when my sister texted me, ate some food, dressed, went to Walgreen's for more Sudafed, and went back to bed. Woke again around 3 or 4 and this time managed to stay awake, hang out with the kids, until I finally went back to bed for the night at 10 pm.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Day 33, Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th! And Girls Night Out! Whoohoo!  

I started the day feeling pretty miserable after working last night. Not only was it a crazy busy night, I had a patient with a huge bouquet of lilies. I am very allergic to lilies. I started sneezing just walking by the room, my eyes began to itch the first time I walked in the room, and 8.5 hours later I was a snotty, watery, sneezy mess.

Even after loading up on my allergy medications AND washing the pollen off, I was still pretty stuffy upon waking. Any other day I would have topped today off with an Ambien and gone to sleep early, But this was Girls Night Out, which comes around like twice a year. And I missed the last one due to snow. So I steamed my sinuses, added Afrin, and went out to Party!

Really, it was a great night! As my brother-in-law says, "Beer cures everything." A couple beers and martinis, and I felt great!! Fun company too! Girls Night ended about midnight, so I headed over to my sister's to hang out until I was able to drive home. We had such fun talking, eating a middle-of-the-night snack of tuna fish, etc, that it was 4 am before I finally left! The last time I saw 4 am on purpose was probably an all-nighter 10 years ago. 4 am should be only seen when a baby or child wakes me up. Otherwise it should not exist. ;)

Training.... didn't go to the gym. :( I know, I know.
Eating.... actually, aside from a few onion rings and chicken tenders at the bar, I ate very well today. I haven't updated my food diary, but even adding in the alcohol, I'm pretty sure I"m not much over my goal.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day 32, Back to the Gym

Good day. :) It was weight-lifting day AND I rode the bike afterwards.

First we did legs, chest, back, and abs. 10 reps x 4 sets. I'm going to be climbing those obstacles like Curious George! ;) My abs protested but I feel pretty good right now.

Then I was hemming and hawing. Do I rest and go home? Attempt a run? Bike? With a little prodding from Max, I ended up biking a quick 4 miles. In 15 minutes. While checking Facebook. ;)

Two and a half more months until my 5k obstacle course! And only 4.5 months until the Chicago Triathlon! It's so exciting!