Thursday, December 31, 2015

December Totals

Wow!  December went fast.  I have never been so stressed in my life.  And consequently, I caught my second cold within four weeks.  So, I had to miss yet another week of training.  I did get some done, though, including a LOT of swimming.  Here's how it all broke down.

Swimming - 37,000 yards ~ 21 miles
Holy cow!  That's a lot of swimming.  That's nearly a mile a day of swimming!  I even had one week over 10,000 yards.  I am LOVING swimming right now.  I can't wait to see how much it improves in the coming months.

Running - 52.23 miles
Sigh.  In my head, I love running.  When it comes to getting out the door, I'm severely lacking in motivation.  Running just feels so labored and difficult.  I feel fat and like I'm running in sand.  I keep telling myself, though, that I cannot get better unless I ACTUALLY do the workouts. 

Strength Training - 0.75 hours
When it comes to the first thing I skip in my training (besides running) it's going to be strength.  If I have 15-45 minutes in my day, I want to spend it doing NOTHING!  I will try harder.  I will try harder.  I will try harder.

YMCA Visits - 8
Cost Per Visit - $4.70

Now if I could only have a month where I stay healthy and actually TRY to do the workouts.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Week in Review

Oh, hi!

Let's just jump in like it hasn't been weeks since I last blogged and talk about how awesome my week of training was.  K?

Swimming - 10,300 yards
Oh yes, I did a lot of swimming last week.  Four days to be exact.  I, finally, made it to masters twice in one week and did two more swims on my own.  I've been working a lot of my butterfly and although it still sucks, it's getting better.  I need to keep working on it; there seems to be IM in each workout I have.

Running - 22.4 miles
I did four runs this week too.  Crazy town!  Most runs were not long or complicated.  I did do one on the track with drills and a longer run on the weekend with faster intervals.  I got a new Garmin too (more to come on that another day) which has made running a little more fun right now.

Strength - 30 minutes
I would love to be doing more strength training but I'm doing what I can with what the schedule allows.  I used my homemade conditioning cards and did 10 different exercises.  Holy wow was I sore the next day!

Lots of fun stuff coming up.  I'm going to try my best to be on top of blogging.  I swear.  I SWEAR!!!

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Wednesday Won

Boy, did I have a day yesterday.

I woke up in a mood.  Everything was bothering me.  Anderson was annoying me to no end.  And there was NO WAY I wanted to play any more trains!

Then things got crazy.

We have ZERO food in the house so Anderson and I were headed out to the grocery store to pick up some lunch.  Our garage isn't the most clean or organized place, but it's good enough to fit our cars in it.  As I was pulling the car out of the garage, the car lurched.  I looked out the front window and saw that the dog chain/leash we use in the front yard was somehow connected to the car and was stuck on something else in the garage.  I had been leashed like a dog.  I pulled the car back into the garage to give it some slack and got out of the car to explore.  My car had swallowed the leash and somehow got it wrapped around the front axle.  I was stuck.  I texted Dave.  He agreed to come home and help me.

We fixed the car.  We had lunch.  Crisis averted.

When we got home I put Anderson down for his nap and then started looking around for my keys.  I didn't have them at lunch and was kind of wondering where they were.  I had to be at work before Dave got off work so I HAD to have them.  I began tearing apart the house.  Anderson has a habit of hiding things.  For example, there are currently toys in my crock pot.  I looked in every drawer, in every laundry basket, in the dishwasher, in the fridge, under the car, under the couch, in Anderson's closet (while he was sleeping).  I couldn't find them anywhere!!!!  I was frustrated.  This day was SUCKING!!!! 

Finally, after sending a hundred panicky texts to Dave (poor Dave), I got one back.

He had both sets of keys.

You have got to be kidding me!

So, Dave came home at 4:30 so I could be at work by 5:00. 

End of bad day?

I was sure hoping so.  But I got to work and I thought the girl who was closing for the night was not there and wasn't going to be there.  I was pissed!  I WAS NOT going to stay until close.  What the hell people?  Come to work?!?

And then she walked through the door.  Holy moly I was hot.

The evening ended with a glass of much needed wine.  Wednesday, you won.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

November Totals

How is it December already?  I blinked and it's suddenly winter.  And as awesome as it is that I have nationals behind me and worlds to look forward to, I'm really struggling with motivation and juggling it all.  I'm not working a ton of hours but I work nearly every day.  There was a stretch this month where I worked 12 days in a row.  I work in the evenings which is my favorite time to workout and therefore, I usually wind up skipping my workout instead of doing it earlier in the day.  Or things just get crazy.  Like yesterday I worked 7 hours at the pool.  I should get 20 minutes down every 20-40 minutes.  During this time I planned on swimming and putting together a whole workout in separate segments.  Unfortunately, things didn't turned out as planned.  During my morning work schedule, the lap lanes were completely packed.  There was no way to fit me in.  Once I did find 20 minutes available, I discovered I didn't have my cap and goggles.  Then during my evening shift, 4 hours worth, I only was out of the chair or not teaching a class a total of 30 minutes.  During that time I cleaned up and ate my dinner.  I had good intentions yesterday but put nothing into practice.

Excuses no more.  December, it's on!!!

Swimming - 16,850 yards ~ 9.6 miles
Seriously, I should be swimming this much nearly every week.

Running - 55.55 miles

Y Visits - 10
Cost Per Visit - $3.76
This is deceiving since I, personally, do not have a payment for my individual Y membership.  So this is basically Anderson at child watch or Dave if he's just doing whatever.  Plus I'm at the Y probably 10 times a week!

I need your help.  I need your motivation.  Leave me a note with a cheer!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanks For Giving 4 Miler 2015

I had no business doing this race.  I have been battling a terrible cold for the better part of a week and was still quite congested with a bad cough yesterday morning.  I was already signed up, though, and I thought it would be okay.

Hail, Hail, the gang's all here!  Dave, me, Anderson, my sister, two of my nieces, a nephew, my mom and dad, and some of my sister's friends and their kids.

The day started with the Drumstick Dash, a kids race, where my youngest niece and nephew and Anderson ran.  I should say, we carried Anderson for most of the race until the crowd was out of the way and then he decided he wanted to run over the finish line all by himself.  He got a medal with a turkey on it.  He's way cool.

Our race was a four miler that wound through the neighborhoods, had many turns, and did some of the race on the bike paths.  It was definitely not a PR course but I did get to see part of New Albany that I've never seen before.  Of course, you've seen one Georgian house, you've seen them all.  (Google New Albany, OH and you'll know what I'm talking about.)

The first mile I went out at a pace I thought I might be able to sustain for the race, even being sick.  But I quickly realized that I was still way sick and should not be running this hard or even running at all.  By the second mile I was toast and needed to stop and cough.  At this point, Dave passed me, asking me if I was okay.  I got running again and stayed right behind him.  I was on the cusp of passing him at mile 3 when I needed to cough again.  This time I thought I might lose a lung.  Seriously.  The last mile was another coughing mess.  I finished the race in 32:05, just a few seconds behind Dave and a few second faster than my oldest niece.  Even with what I consider a poor performance, I finished fourth in my age group just narrowly missing getting a full-sized pumpkin pie.  (That's alright.  I don't like pumpkin pie anyway.)

So here's what so cool about this race.  This race started a few years ago when a few neighbors got together to enjoy a run before Thanksgiving.  Then they started doing it in conjunction with donating money towards services that would provide meals for others.  This year was the first "official" year of the race and it was 100% donation/charity.  You could pay a little; you could pay a lot.  You could pay nothing.  ALL money raised was given to charity.  The shirts and other goodies were donated by local businesses.  Now, I'm not one who runs charity races for the cause (I like to race to race), but this is a good cause and model I support and will do again.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 23, 2015

I went all the way to Colorado and didn't run a race?!

A couple of weeks ago we took a vacation to Colorado.  The first part of the week was spent near Boulder with family and the second part of the week was just the three of us touring all over the place.  Here was some of the highlights (with lots and lots of pictures).

Rocky Mountain National Park
The day after we arrived, we headed to Rocky Mountain National Park.  We did a lot of driving and little bit of hiking and just enjoyed the scenery.  It doesn't look like this in Ohio.

Air Force Academy
They say it is sunny 300 days of the year in Colorado and wouldn't you know three of the days we were there it rained?!  Our whirlwind trip to Colorado Springs was done in the cold rain.  First we stopped at the Air Force Academy and did a little sightseeing.  The chapel was super cool.  Anderson picked himself up a souvenir.   He still plays with it a lot.  Guess we chose well.

Garden of the Gods
I'm sure Garden of the Gods is super cool and beautiful, but it was 40 degrees and raining and I'm not going to lie, I was a bit miserable.  We did a small hike and took some pictures.  Someday I want to see this again when it's nicer out.

Olympic Training Center
I'm not going to lie, I had high hopes and was super excited to see the Olympic Training Center.  And it was sweet, expect you really weren't allowed to see anything.  We were given a tour which basically only showed us a little bit of the buildings.  The weight room and pool were awesome, but I wanted to see what the living situations looked like and also see the dining hall.  I was also hoping to catch a glimpse of some badass athlete.  I did win a quiz, picked up a prize, and bought myself a training journal for 2016.

Great Sand Dunes National Park
Great Sand Dunes National Park was my favorite thing we did on this trip.  We drove about three hours from Colorado Springs to the middle of freakin' nowhere and out of the ground were these GIANT sand dunes.  We layered on our clothing, strapped on the hiking backpack, and headed up to the tallest dune.  It was so magnificent.  Because of the time of year it was, there were very few people at the park.  We were the only people on the dune and it was so silent.  It was an amazing experience and I'm so glad I got to experience it with my boys.

Pikes Peak
The last full day of our trip we stayed in Colorado Springs and were blessed with good weather in the morning.  The sky was clear and I finally got to see Pikes Peak.  We took the cog train to the top where the weather was a brisk 21 degrees with lots of snow.  This was the highest I had ever been (we had been over 13,000 feet when we went to Switzerland several years ago) but I didn't feel the elevation so much.  Guess I'm in better shape than I thought!  We only got about 20 minutes at the top of the mountain.  We, unfortunately, did not get any of the famous donuts as they ran out, but Anderson did get to play in the snow.  We wore the boy out too.  He slept the entire trip down the mountain.

Manitou Incline
Finally, after Pikes Peak, we had fully intended to climb the Manitou Incline to the top.  However, it was now raining and it was a whole lot steeper than I thought it would be.  I had plans of putting Anderson in the Ergobaby but we were worried about how we were going to manage and didn't want to spend hours out in the rain, so we climbed up a little, took a picture, and headed back down.  Picture or it didn't happen!

Right now, there are plans to return in August 2016 for an epic race Dave is planning...

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Let's talk more about swimming.  (When did this become a swimming blog???)

Two weeks ago I sucked it up buttercup and got up at stupid o-clock to try out the local masters swim team.  To my surprise the place was packed.  People!  It's 5:30 in the morning!!!  Everyone was welcoming.  I told a few people my usual swim times and I put myself into the very.last.lane.  Yep, you think you're good until you swim with real swimmers.  Then you suck.  The workout was hard but I was keeping up and felt pretty good about things. 

I went back two days later and swam with the boys.  It felt harder.  Maybe I was more tired.  Maybe it was because I didn't eat breakfast. 

Last week I just couldn't get up for the first swim, but did go later in the week.  This time we did a descending set with the very last 100 as fast as we could go.  And you know what?  I cut nearly 10 seconds off my best 100 times.  All this swimming?  It's working. 

This morning I got up again.  This time I led my lane through some of the sets.  I was hitting the send-offs and I was doing well.  Guess I am going to have to keep going.  Right now I am loving swimming.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Week in Review

Gah!  Every day I SWEAR I'm going to write here and every day gets away from me.  Training is crazy town right now - yes, 10 months out from the big race.  Plus, I am about to work my 11th day in a row today.  Oh and you know, I have a 2 year old that occupies a lot of my time.  To be honest, all of this is too overwhelming for me.  I'm starting to shut down and just sleep.  That's how I handle things.  Unfortunately, that also means I'm getting ABSOLUTELY NOTHING done.  Let's talk about what I did get done last week.

Swimming - 7250 yards ~ 4.1 miles
And I missed a swim!  I am living in chlorine right now.  Even the days I don't swim I'm in the water.  I teach 8 swim classes a week.  I have started attending masters (oh yes!).  I am swimming on my own.  Oh, and last week I made two pseudo-saves during my lifeguarding duties.  BUT, it's paying off.  All of it.  My back and arm muscles are starting to be banging and the times are falling.  Last week I did a 100 all out and came in nearly 10 seconds faster than ever before.  Boom!

Running - 14.85 miles
Truthfully, I'm just not loving running right now.  I'm struggling with time management and just can't get out to do it.  I don't want to run in the dark.  I don't want to run on the treadmill.  I don't want to be cold.  The only day I'm loving on running is Fridays when I drop the kiddo off at preschool and two hours to myself.  Those are the runs I truly love.  This week, though, I'm going to try harder.  I swear.  Hold me to it, please!!!

How do you manage your time?  I know I'm not the only mama out there who trains.  Do you use babysitters?  Do you have terrible mom guilt?  Any of you mamas work and train?  Do I have to get up at stupid o'clock and sleep nearly nothing to get it all done?

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

He said he wanted to be a rocket ship.  And Dave made him one out of posterboard and duct tape.  So creative.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Thank You Oiselle!

The Friday we flew to Oklahoma I was looking around on Twitter and Oiselle was having one of their Friday tweet contests.  Each Friday they hold a contest with different themes.  This one was for #startinglines so of course I tweeted about my starting line at aquathlon nationals that weekend.  And I won!  I got a $50 gift certificate to their online store which I promptly used to buy this:

This is the Lux long sleeve base layer.  It is so comfortable and warm.  Almost too warm, actually.  Each time I've worn it I've had it off within a mile because I was too warm.  But it kept me warm last week while hiking in Colorado. 

Wait?  What?  I went to Colorado???

Monday, October 26, 2015

Rewarding Myself

After my good performance at aquathlon nationals I decided to reward myself with a new swimsuit.  After all, I will be spending a lot of time in the pool soon.  I got this from  It was inexpensive and cute.  

The only weird thing about this swimsuit is the red liner turns the whole swimsuit pink when it's wet.  I guess I'd rather have pink than see-through.

Do you reward yourself after good races?

Monday, October 12, 2015

Swimming is Dangerous

Who knew that swimming could be dangerous?  I've always thought of it as a pretty safe workout since you're not pounding your body and using only the water as resistance.  Turns out, I was wrong.  Earlier today I was doing my workout, went into a flip turn and OUCH!  I got my toe stuck under me while flip turning and pushed off the wall like that.  Immediately I knew it was broken.  Of course, being the good athlete that I am, I immediately stopped my watch and then checked out my toe.

This is what it looks like now.  Should I call the doctor or just tape it to another one and keep on?

Friday, October 09, 2015

It's Not About the Marathon

(...the future title of my autobiography)

When you tell people you run they ask you if you do marathons.  When you tell people, yes, you've done a marathon they ask if you've done Boston.

Been there.  Done that.  Time to move on.

I am so excited to have done so well at Aquathlon Nationals and am even more excited to train and compete at the World Championships.  In 2016 I had planned on training for a PR in the half marathon and maybe, maybe do a fall marathon.  Well, scratch that.  I don't want to do either.  It's most likely that the Aquathlon World Championships will be a sprint race - short swim, short run - and that's what I want to train and compete with next year.  My race schedule is probably only going to include 5ks and 10ks.  I'd also like to try my hand at some swim meets.  And I also somehow got roped into doing the swim portion of a relay at the new Ironman 70.3 Delaware, Ohio.

The new season is going to be awesome.  I can't wait to get started.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

September Totals

Hey look at this!  The husband found a way to get some of my GoPro pictures.

Nice T-Rex arms!  Raaawwwrrr!
Anyway, let's talk about September.  I did some running, lots of swimming, and lots of working.  Here's the lowdown.

Swimming - 30,100 yards ~ 17.1 miles
So much swimming.  So much more to come.

Running - 45.27 miles
Getting there, slowly, but surely.

Strength - 1.5 hours
This was probably more as I would do my rehab exercises throughout the day and then not record them. 

YMCA Visits - 11
Cost per Visit - $3.42  (They finally got us on the employee discount!!!)

I have no idea what October will bring as it is the end of the season and it's a long way to go before my goal race next September.  Tune in, though.  I've got big thoughts...

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Our Whirlwind Weekend in Oklahoma

As of Wednesday morning last week we were driving to Oklahoma.  Plane tickets were atrocious!  We were going to take two days to get there, two days to return, and we would be bringing Anderson.  But, we kept searching the internet and finding different options and finally by Wednesday afternoon we had found a more reasonable set of plane tickets.  We would fly out of Dayton to Tulsa and we would need to leave Anderson at home for the weekend with my parents.  The plan was in motion.

Dave Runs a 5K
We arrived into Tulsa late Friday, checked into our hotel, and immediately fell into deep sleep.  Our alarms were set early, though, as Dave also wanted to do a race in Oklahoma and found a small 5K at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa.  It wasn't a very big race, and not particularly fast, but Dave did walk away with first in his age group.

Oral Roberts' campus 

We're Going to Jail
After Dave's race we drove to Oklahoma City for my race.  Our trip involved a toll road.  Dave had done his research prior to the drive and we had enough cash for the trip.  Or so we thought.  Most of the toll stations were not manned and required exact change.  Luckily there were change machines so we got lots of quarters for our $5 bill.  We thought we would only have to pay $4 for the whole trip.  We were wrong.  At one point we didn't have enough money and had to write a check.  Yep a check.  For $1.15.  Then, after lunch, after we had made change for more money, we made it to another toll stop where the fee was $1.15.  For some reason, Dave had to make change again.  Except this time, the change machine didn't work.  And we only had a quarter.  So we put the quarter in the machine and drove away.  We are fugitives from the law.  Oklahoma wants us for our 90 cents.

PS - We paid that 90 cents when we came back on the toll road on Sunday.

Thin Walls
El Reno was the location of my race.  Although a suburb of Oklahoma City, it seemed like the middle of nowhere.  There were a few establishments and very few hotels.  We stayed at the Best Western which should have been renamed the Worst Western.  It was awful.  We were right off the freeway which was loud.  Then there were the thin walls.  I could hear every time someone went to the bathroom, flushed the toilet, had anything to say, and oh yeah, the neighbors having sex.  MULTIPLE TIMES!  I was starting to wonder if there was a prostitute in the room next to us.  There were truckers who would park at the end of the motel and I was wondering if they were keeping company in the room next to us.  After the second sexual encounter I thought if I heard it one more time I was calling the cops or the front desk, at least.

Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial
On our way back to Tulsa after my race we detoured to downtown Oklahoma City to see the bombing memorial.  I had seen it before, I think, more than 10 years ago.  Dave had never seen it.  It's so very neat: poignant, artistic, somber, beautiful.

I Heart Tulsa
Our last night in Oklahoma was spent in downtown Tulsa.  We were able to walk to many activities and really took advantage of the local scene.  We started with a trip to Valkyrie which is a bar like you might see on Esquire's "Best Bars in America."  There is no menu at this bar.  There are seasonal drinks written on a chalkboard or if you don't like any of those, you tell the bartender what you like and he'll mix you up something special.  My first drink was some concoction that had a whole bunch of unknown alcohols to me.  The only thing I could name was strawberry syrup.  It was fruity and spicy and awesome.  Dave had a mule with carrot juice, cinnamon, and ginger.  It had a little kick but was really good. 

We walked to Guthrie Green where we took in some live music.  Then we walked to "The Center of the Universe" where science met art and we made cool echos.  Dave and I got engaged under a whisper arch so this was super cool to us.  Dinner was at Mi Mexicali where we had some tasty food and margaritas.  Then it was back to Valkyrie where we enjoyed a second round of drinks.  Mine was called "The Bees Knees" and was a gin martini with honey and lemon.  Dave had "The Schute of All Evil" which had beet juice in it.  To me it tasted like eating the earth.  I'll stick to my fruity drinks.  Our flight was stupid early the next day, so we called it a night.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Aquathlon National Championships 2015

Swim confidently.
Run aggressively.

Aquathlon (swim/run) is a sport I have always thought I'd be good at and always wanted to try, but unfortunately, they're really hard to find locally or even in the whole state of Ohio.  Early in 2015 I established that I wanted to go to the national championships and try to qualify for the world championships.  Obviously, everything got derailed when I broke my hip.  In mid-August, though, the doctor, physical therapist, and coach gave me the green light to go ahead and do this race.

My training has been spotty at best.  I've put in the time in the pool, but I've been tentative about my running.  I've done some running but nothing as long as six miles and nothing with speed.  Honestly, I'm scared to push the hip at this point.  In addition, I put on quite a bit of weight this summer and haven't taken any of it off.  I've eaten and drank horribly and have overall felt like crap.

Nonetheless, we planned a trip to Oklahoma so I could compete in the race.  I had a hard time wrapping my head around the price of the trip versus the total time of the race versus my ability to actually qualify for the world championships.  We always came back to the fact that I was "racing the states" and I didn't have Oklahoma.  Excuse, enough, I guess.

More on our overall trip to Oklahoma tomorrow.  And now, on with the race.

The swim was a 1500m triangle open water swim in Lake El Reno.  The water was a cold 67 degrees and murky.  Ah, just like home!  I haven't done an open water swim since Anderson was born, but things have gone really well in the pool so I figured I would be okay.  Except, I'm not very confident in open water.  I don't like to be close to other competitors.  I don't like seeing how long the swim actually is.  I don't like thinking about how deep the water is and the possibility that no one would see me sink to the bottom.  Dude, seriously, I'm a head-case!  I started too far back in the pack and almost immediately freaked out.  As I was spotting I saw a girl beside me raise her hand and ask for assistance from one of the kayaks.  Yikes!  I flipped over to my back, collected myself, and told myself to just make it to the first turn buoy and then I could quit.  As I was swimming to that first buoy I got mad at myself.  I didn't travel over half of the country to quit.  If anything, I was picking up Oklahoma!

I got to that first turn buoy and it was shallow.  Like, only up to my chest, shallow.  Several people were walking.  So, I stood up too.  Shoot, I was walking as fast as anyone was swimming around me!  Soon, though, it was time to get back to swimming and I did more confidently this time.  It took forever to reach the second turn bouy but by this time there was a light at the end of the tunnel.  Although I swam a horrible line, I still picked people out in front of me and swam hard to catch them.  Finally the swim was over.  I was plucked from the water and was headed for the wet suit strippers.

Seriously y'all.  Multisport is just comical for me.  There is always something.  For me, it happened at the wet suit strippers.  My wet suit got stuck on my wrist.  Not on my watch.  Not on a timing chip.  On my tiny, T-Rex, wrists!  Seriously?!  How much weight have I gained?!?!  It took a good 30+ seconds to rip my arm out of the wet suit and then a mere flash to get the rest of the wet suit off.

Transition wasn't any better.  It shouldn't take that long to put on socks and shoes (shoes that have speed laces in them too), grab my hat and number and go.  Yet I seemed to be in transition forever.  (In reality, it was less than a minute but it probably should have been a lot faster.)  And then I was out on the run.

I got passed.  I did some passing.  I tried to do some counting in my age group.  I ran within myself at a pace that was both swift enough and conservative enough for my hip.  At the first turn around (it was a two-looping, out-and-back course), I got passed by a girl in my age group.  She was flying.  Crap.  I finished the first loop and Dave told me that I was in 10th in my age group (in reality I was 11th) and that girls ahead of me looked bad.  I picked up the pace a little and started focusing on other competitors.  I reached one girl and we began to push each other.  My pace dropped down to about 7:50 and I was starting to feel good.  At the final turn around I caught that girl in my age group who had passed me earlier.  I wound my way to the finish line and kicked it in.  My run time was around 49:15 or something like that.

This picture pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?

Here's where things got dicey.  The top ten in each age group qualifies for the world championship next September in Cozumel.  Aquathlon follows the same rules as triathlon.  You compete as your age at the end of the year for the whole year.  Does that make sense?  My birthday is in April.  I competed as a 37 year old no matter if it was January 2015 or December 2015.  This rule sucks for Dave because he has a December birthday.  Because of these weird age-up rules, my competition was really 34-38 year olds because they would be 35-39 in 2016 for the world championships.  For the current 35-39 year olds, I finished 8th in the age group.  Applying the age up rules, I finished 10th.
Unofficially, I have made the national team and will be heading to Cozumel to compete in the world championships.  I am so excited!  

Note - All of my pictures from the race are videos on the GoPro.  I'm trying to figure out how to make them into still images.  Hopefully more pictures to come later.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Manly Things

I came home from work yesterday to see the kiddo, the husband, and the neighbor all out in the yard chatting.  Or at least, I thought that's what they were doing.  As I approached, however, I noticed there were tools.  Big tools.  Sharp tools.  Then it started.  The two of them were chopping wood.  We've had to cut down a lot of dead trees this summer and we've been using the wood in our firepit (and soon enough, the inside fireplaces).  Then another neighbor came home and he came over with a chainsaw.  It was a 'manly' party at my house. 

There was also this:

Oh yes.  Chopping wood with his plastic hammer.

I asked Dave how he convinced the neighbor to come over and help him.  He said he just did.  And after the third neighbor came over with his chainsaw I knew this was true.  Men doing manly things.  Testosterone, I guess.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Week in Review

Hello, hello!!!

It's been quite a while since I've had any training worthwhile to put together a "Week in Review" post.  This week I did pretty well, though.

Swimming - 7800 yards ~ 4.4 miles
It should have been more.  I missed a nearly 3000 yard swim due to time constraints, but still got in some great swimming.  I've been working hard to become more swimmer-like after reading this article in Triathlete.  I've incorporated bilateral breathing and flip turning into all my workouts.  And it's making a difference.  I had 3 x 100 at the end of a long workout last week and busted out a 1:30, 1:29, and 1:27, respectively.

Running - 17.01 miles
Yes, 17 miles is not a lot.  However, this is the most miles I have strung together in a week since my last marathon attempt in May.  I did four runs and they were on consecutive days.  By the end of the week, my hip was not happy.  Not painful, but definitely not happy.  I had hoped to do one more run, but I ran out of time.  Life happens!

Strength Training - 0.5 hours
Right now I am only able to do my PT exercises as my strength training.  I should be doing it a lot more than a half hour per week.  By the end of the day, though, I'm just tired and want to sit on the couch.  I recently built my own slide board (more on this soon), so I hope to incorporate this into my strength training soon.

Now let's talk about the fun stuff.  I freakin' love my FitBit.  The stats are awesome!  I check them throughout the day.  I am crazy obsessed.  Here's some of the fun stuff from the last week.

Steps -  92,648 total, 13,235 average per day
Saturdays really screw me up with my steps.  I teach swim lessons for four and a half hours and cannot wear my FitBit during that time.  (It's not water proof.)  I walk a lot between the two pools I teach in and back and forth to get towels and whatnot.  I walk a lot more steps on Saturday than what is accounted for.

Resting Heart Rate - 75 average
I hope this continues to drop as I get more and more into shape again.

Distance - 40.2 miles total, 5.74 miles per day
This is grossly wrong.  I've noticed the mileage to be WAY off from my Garmin when I go on a run.  That's alright.  It's still a fun stat.

Sleep - 8 hrs, 7 minute average per day
That's right kiddos.  I regularly get over 8 hours of sleep per day.  Boom!!!

Thanks for checking in.  I'm hoping to get back to a regular blogging schedule.  I don't know how many of y'all actually read it (or care), but I enjoy writing this and want to be better about it.  Oh, and there is a big race this week for me.  Stay tuned!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Happy Anniversary

Dave and I are celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary today!

Look how young and skinny we were!

He surprised me with an awesome gift.  It involved some clues, however.  Can you guess what he got me?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

This weekend is the Air Force Marathon in Dayton, OH.  I ran this last year as a training run (for which I got in lots of trouble with my coach) after years of wanting to run it.  And you know what?  I didn't love it.  The course was BORING and there were no spectators for most of the race since it was on the Air Force base.  I had built this race up as a cool race to run and I was disappointed.  I won't be putting this race back on my calendar.

So, what race will you not run again?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My little boy is now a big boy who goes to preschool

My little guy started preschool last week.  He goes one day a week for two hours.  He's supposed to learn about counting and letters and spelling and singing and all the stuff he already knows.  He did great - no crying - and talked about playing on the playground and playing with the trucks in the room.  I don't know if he learned anything but at least he likes it.  And Dave and I enjoyed a lovely breakfast out just the two of us.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A&F Challenge 5K 2015

Ermahgerd!  I ran a race!

I had no idea what I could do in a race.  I had no idea how my hip would hold up.  I just planned on running and see where my feet would take me.  As it turns out, my feet and hip still know how to race.

I didn't race balls-to-the-wall.  I just went out and ran.  I tried to keep my pace even and keep Dave in my sight.  And I'd say I did a pretty good job of that.

Mile 1 - 7:39
Mile 2 - 7:48
Mile 3 - 7:44

My overall time was 23:33 and I came in just 30 seconds behind Dave.  Oh, and I was the 18th female finisher.  It's nowhere near where I was last year, but having broken my hip and taken the whole summer off, I'm pretty happy with my time.  There's still life left in these legs and they're ready to start racing again.

**I wish I had some pictures.  I don't think there was a photographer at the race and obviously, my paparazzi was racing with me.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday's Merchandise: FitBit


I have always been give or take about my Garmin.  I enjoy having the awareness when I train about pace and heart rate, but honestly, I prefer to just run with a stop watch during a race. 

Last week I bought myself a FitBit Charge HR with money I had been saving.  And I've got to tell you, I freakin' love it!  I love having all the stats: steps, heart rate, calories, sleep, water, food intake, etc.  I must check the app one million times a day!  I've even been pretty diligent at tracking my food so I know if calories in is less than calories out.  I have to get those six pounds off I gained this summer!  I also love that I can set a silent alarm (there is nothing more jarring than being startled by a loud alarm clock).  I used it for the first time on Saturday to get up for work and it was AWESOME!

The only "con" I've noticed is that the accuracy of the distance traveled is way different than my Garmin.  This morning I went out for a 50 minute run.  My Garmin said I traveled about 5-1/4 miles which is probably about right.  My FitBit said I had gone less than 5 miles.  Of course, it's basing it on steps and not GPS.  Either way, it probably doesn't matter since it uses your heart rate to determine calories burned.

Whatever.  I freakin' love it.  And I'm sure it's going to take no time to convince the husband he should have one too.  Gosh darn technology!  You're so cool!

Do you have a FitBit or a VivoFit or something like that?  Do you love it as much as I do?

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Week In Review

This was officially my first week back to training.  And I didn't do so hot.  First of all I've been battling a cold for the better part of 10 days.  Every time I would exert myself in an exercise I would cough.  And then Anderson got sick which made it impossible to go to the Y to do my swims because I couldn't put him in the child care there.  Finally, I'm struggling to figure out how to get everything done now that I have a job again.  Each week will get easier as I put in the time, dedication, and consistency.

Swimming - 6500 yards
I did swims of 2500, 3000, and 1000 yards.  The 1000 I did because I had the time at work, although it wasn't on the schedule.  Nothing wrong with adding extra work, amIright?  But, I did miss a 2600 yard swim that I'm still hoping to do sometime.

Running - 11.32 miles
Running was a struggling this week.  The cold didn't help.  The hot temperatures didn't help.  Camping and being out of town didn't help.  And my own laziness didn't help.  The running is coming back, slowly but surely.

Strength Training - 0.5 hours
I'm still doing my hip physical therapy exercises on occasion.  I should probably do them more.  I mean, I can do them while watching TV.  I'm just lazy.  There appears to be a theme here.

I'm finally starting to get over this cold so hopefully next week is an improvement.  Happy training.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Optimal Swimming Stroke

Everyone's a coach, right?

I have been swimming my whole life, although I never swam competitively.  Now that I teach swimming I know that swim instructors are just people who know something about swimming and want a job.  They may or may not know the correct way to teach or the correct way to swim.  So, the way I swim may or may not be the best way to swim.  Regardless, I do a pretty good job, I'm a little bit on the faster side, and I've done alright in races.  So, win?

Earlier this week I was at the pool while one of my good friends and fellow swim instructor and coach was in the guard chair.  I was doing a long workout consisting mostly of pulling drills.  She took a look at my stroke and form and gave me some pointers.  She said I had really low elbows both out of the water and in the water.  She said I don't reach far enough in front of me to pull all the water.  And she said I had a really high stroke rate, like 23 strokes per 25 yards.  She did say I had good hip rotation.

I relayed all this information to my coach and she basically said, "who cares?"  My friend is a good six inches taller than me and my coach is about my size (and an effing beast of an athlete).  My coach said there was nothing wrong with a high stroke rate and that I shouldn't worry about swimming with a straight arm to catch more water.

I have a few other confidants at the pool I've talked to this about.  They wondered about my shoulder rotation.  Sure I have good hip rotation but are my shoulders rotating too to be able to reach further?  They check out my flexibility in my shoulders and elbows and said it was good.  Hopefully I'll be able to get them to actually look at my stroke later this week (when I get over this cold enough to stop coughing and get my head into the water).

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

August Totals

August was the month I got back to running.  Well, jogging anyway.  Nevertheless, it felt good to do it.  I didn't have a training plan or clearance to schedule a race so I found it hard to stay motivated but I did do a little.

Swimming - 4500 yards.  This is pathetic.  I will have more yardage than that in the first week of September.  You would think since I am at the swimming pool every day working that I would at least jump in during my breaks and swim a little.

Biking - 8 miles.  One bike ride.  I'm over the bike.

Running - 39.79 miles.  It's not much but it's a lot more than it was.  And it was actually running/jogging and not walking.

Strength Training - 2.42 hours.  My sister is a certified personal trainer and offers her friend a circuit training class twice a week at the local church.  Last week I attended.  I've got to hand it to her, it was not easy.  I was sore for days.  Good job kiddo.  I might have to check it out again.

YMCA Visits - 16.  So, August was supposed to be the month that my employee discount kicked in.  But, we still haven't seen it yet reflected in our credit card.  I only counted the visits by the husband and the kiddo and not mine since my new discount gives me a free membership.  However, I still counted the full price in the calculation so...

YMCA Cost per Visit - $5.33.  This would have been a lot less had I counted my visits.

September is going to look a lot different.  I started training with my coach again on August 31st.  I can't wait to get back to a regular training schedule with races on the calendar.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

All Clear

A broken femur.  A partially torn hip labrum.  Twelve weeks of no running.  Six weeks of physical therapy.  And six pounds gained.  I have finally, FINALLY been cleared to resume training. 

I am so happy!!!

I am allowed to return to training with a few caveats.  No more than five days of running each week.  Keep up with all my strength routines.  Do not build speed and mileage at the same time.  BE CAREFUL!

Monday it all starts.  I have five weeks until a race I'd like to focus on.  Will I be back to where I was?  Absolutely not, but hopefully enough that I can be happy about my race and experience.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

Okay, a little bragging.

This week I went grocery shopping, with my 2 year old FTW, and bought a week's worth of food for our family for right around $100.  I used $44 in coupons!  This included meat (ground turkey, steak, and chicken breasts), lots of produce (berries, veggies, etc.), and even diapers.  I totally won this shopping trip.

So, what's your secret for saving money?  Groceries?  Race entries?  Home improvements?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Feeling the Itch

I've been back to "training" for about three weeks now and I'm already feeling the itch to race.  Sure, right now I can only run 10 minute/miles as prescribed by the doctor but give me another month and that could change.  Right?  RIGHT?  Tentatively I have two races I'm thinking about: one in October and one in November. 

Is this a dumb idea?  Does my hip need further rehab?  Am I going to be disappointed because I won't be able to race like I used to?

I better decide fast.  One is out of state and requires plane tickets and hotel reservations as well as signing up for the race.

Decisions, decisions!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

This topic might be way too much TMI, but a running blog would not be a running blog without a little too much TMI.

Running underwear.  Let's do it.

I am an underwear girl.  I like my undies big, granny-like, cotton, and I could care less about lines under my clothing.  I don't own a thong.  I do, ALWAYS, wear underwear when I run.  I don't get chafed from underwear, but I tend to get chafed in the ol' butt crack when I run long from sweat or water getting all over me or just my big booty rubbing against itself for hours on end.

Too much TMI yet?

I've been reading all over the internet about running underwear.  Prices.  Sizes.  Materials.  Is it worth it.  And you know what I've found out?  I don't think many people wear underwear while running.  Well, good for you all, this isn't going to happen for me.  Although I wear shorts with liners, those liners don't fit like underwear.  And I've already established I'm an underwear girl.

So I'm asking...are you an underwearer or not?  If yes, do you wear the fancy running stuff?  Worth it or I'm still gonna get crack chafing anyway?

Go to town, America.  I can't wait to hear what you have to say.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

I was walking/jogging a week ago while pushing the stroller and this random dude, slowed up his car on the other side of the road and yelled out, "NICE LEGS!" 

Um, thanks?!

I was a little creeped out but at least it was a good compliment and not something totally inappropriate or rude.

What's the weirdest thing that's happened to you while running?  What's the weirdest compliment you received?

Speaking of weird compliments....

I was picking up dinner the other night.  I got weak and ordered Chinese.  Ugh, I hate myself.  Anyway, at our previous home we would order Chinese quite often.  It was good; it was right across the street; I was skinny.  While I waited on my food my favorite ladies and I were shooting the breeze.  The asked about Dave, about the baby, about the new home.  And then in the weirdest backhanded compliment one of them told me I looked better now because I had gained weight. 

Um, thanks?!

Well, personally, I want to be lean and fit and skinny.  But I love your food so I'll take the "compliment".

Friday, August 07, 2015

Foto Friday

Here we go!

Day #61 - A video!  I mean, how cute is this?

 Day #62 - Anderson actually asked to get his picture taken today.  This is what we got.

 #63 - Little buns doing my physical therapy Steamboats.

 Day #64 - Anderson kept asking to play soccer out in the yard.  How does he even know about soccer?  We never talk about soccer!

Day #65 - Riding bikes with the neighbor girl.  Where's your helmet, son?!

 Day #66 - Excavator + Wendy's = One Happy Boy!

 Day #67 - Grilled cheese and gang signs?

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Mixing it Up

I work with a lot of young (and I mean YOUNG - I'm old enough to be their mother), health and fitness kiddos at the Y.  Most of them are current or former swimmers although some have done other sports.  One of them is a former division II wrestling stud.  They talk a lot about workouts and especially what they eat in during their days.  They eat so healthy!  I eat so unhealthy.  :(

But, I've got some weight to lose and running is starting to come into focus so I figured now is the right time to get, at least, somewhat serious about it.  I bought a MagicBullet.

Why?  I don't know.  I guess juicing and smoothies and whatnot is supposed to be good for you.  I don't particularly like smoothies, but I can try.  Our tastes change as we get older, right?

My first smoothie was some cashew concoction.

Kale, coconut oil, coconut flakes, cashews, banana, strawberries, almond milk.  Yuck.  The reason I don't like smoothies is that you have to chew them a little. 

But I tried again the next day.

Strawberries, celery, avocado, apple, beet, ice, coconut water.  Maybe something else?  And this time I got smarter and drank it with a straw so there was less chewing.  This one was pretty good except all I tasted was celery.  I don't like celery.  Yuck.  Maybe next time I'll make it without the celery.

So far I haven't been in love with these smoothies, but I'll keep trying.  Even if I just drink a little I'm getting some nutrients and healthy stuff and eating less calories. 

Why is it so hard to be healthy and skinny and fit?

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Learning Something New

I love working with a coach.  My coach is awesome and perfectly understands my training needs.  However, variety is the spice of life.  Or something like that.  My friends at work are, obviously, pretty good swimmers and are teaching me lots of stuff.  Tonight one of them wrote a workout for a coworker and me.

Many of the drills I had never done.  I'm not very good at butterfly (I got some good instruction on this).  I had never dove off the blocks (I lost my goggles no less than 5 times). 

This workout was tough.  I am so out of shape.  The girl I was swimming with was putting me to shame.  We only made it through half the workout before we ran out of time and the pool closed.  Guess we'll have to finish the workout another time.

What do you do to spice up your training?  What are your favorite non-running workouts?

Monday, August 03, 2015

Physical Therapy

I've been doing physical therapy now for three weeks.  The goal is to strengthen my hip and the muscles surrounding.  My first visit we discovered I have no muscles, which is why I have stability issues and injuries. 

The first week consisted of simple leg lifts and Steamboats (that's my doctor's office in the video).  I also learned some stretches for my cranky hamstring that has been bothering me for the better part of a year.  Those exercises were enough.  My hip area was on fire.  I even had to stop some of the exercises because I just didn't have the strength.  I did those exercises on my own 3-4 times during the next week.

The second week we continued with the leg lifts and Steamboats and added some more exercises.  First was single leg squats with the other leg in front, to the side 45 degrees, and to the back 45 degrees.  That's a LOT of single leg squats, y'all!  Next was a single leg "pencil pickup".  Think of it like those Drinking Birds.  Finally there were hip hikes.

This morning was my favorite physical therapy session.  I was introduced to this:

An anti-gravity treadmill

First they put me in a pair of neoprene shorts, like a wetsuit.  Then I was zipped inside up to my waist.  It fills with air and calculates your weight.  Finally you select the percentage of body weight at which to run and start the treadmill.  I started with a walk which was WEIRD!  I had the treadmill set high, 65%, which was like walking on the moon.  I kind of bounced and there was nowhere to put my arms.  I looked like an old lady power-walker.  After I few minutes I increased the speed and kept doing it every few minutes.  My last few minutes were at a 9:50 pace.  The running felt pretty good.  I didn't have any pain in the area of my stress fracture, but I did have the cranky hamstring and a little bit of tenderness on the outside of my hip area.  With each exercise, though, it is getting stronger and less tender.
I am now doing some jogging outside, although still mostly walking.  I will continue on the Alter G treadmill at physical therapy until I can fully run.  The good news is I'm getting stronger and I'm no longer in pain.  Real running is coming soon.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

July Totals

Is my exercise in July actually worth an entry?  Not really.  I was lazy.  I gained a lot of weight.  I got a job.  I got busy.  The calendar has now turned and I SWEAR I will get back to regularity soon.  Really soon.

Swimming - 3800 yards
After only being allowed to swim with my hip injury, I am just tired of swimming.  3800 yards should be a daily workout, not a monthly total.

Biking - 10.55 miles
Two bike rides.  Two effing bike rides.

Running/Walking - 28.22 miles
This is nothing to brag about, but after weeks and months of no running, it feels so good to get back to it.  I've been doing peppy walks with the stroller and even throwing in some jogging intervals.  I've also put the elliptical machine to work at the Y.

Strength - 1.25 hours

Y Visits - 11
Cost per Visit - $7.76 - I have no idea how I'm going to calculate all this next month when my membership becomes free.  I guess I have to stop counting my visits and only count Anderson and Dave's.  Right?

I'm so glad this month is over.  I'm ready to move on.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Foto Friday

I'm so behind.  I don't know where the last two weeks have gone but, obviously, no time has been devoted to this blog.  Get ready to be inundated with pictures...

Day #47 - Playing around with Grandpa.

 Day #48 - My brother-in-law is a real life farmer.  He took Anderson out on the combine.  I have to admit, I was jealous.

 Day #49 - National Ice Cream Day!!!

Day #50 - This was my Tonka truck when I was younger.  I remember it being much bigger.

 Day #51 - My parents, Anderson, and I went on a long bike ride around town.  We made it back just before the sun set.

 Day #52 - Anderson talks a lot about my tattoo, so I gave him one.  Like what it says?

Day #53 - How about a little #tbt?  He still had his baby fat and no teeth.

 Day #54 - I asked Anderson to smile and this is what I got.

Day #55 - The Home Depot.  Our second home.  Anderson looks so thrilled to be here again.

 Day #56 - This one is Anderson's "performance art."  Notice his feet on the drying rack?  He calls it "Bird in Tree."

 Day #57 - Lifeguard Anderson reporting for duty.

 Day #58 - My new t-shirt.  I mean, how cool is this?!

 Day #59 - I call this game Smooshie Face.  Anderson calls it Eat Mama's Face.

 Day #60 - Anderson loves to read.  I love that he loves to read.

Only 40 days left in this project and it's getting harder and harder.  I'm back into regular exercise (sort of) and started my job and we've been putting in a lot of hours in projects around the house.  Sometimes it's 10:00pm and I still haven't remembered to take a picture.  Must.Try.Harder!