Slow and Steady

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday Tidbit: Leadership

My Monday Motivation, was going to bed at 8:30 PM with my Bug after a 10 hour day at work. I am a little behind at work, but catching up quickly. Today I only put in 9 hours, but had a congregational leadership thing to do right after work. So today's post will be short. I am still composing my response the the amazing leadership training I got a couple weeks ago, but here are a few ways leadership can be.

It would be nice if leadership was always a team effort, organic, creative, serving and consensus.

Then there are times when leadership is what is is perceived to be, one person paving the way for others.
Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try, there will always be those that see your leadership style like this.

I am a young leader, always learning and striving to be the best person I can be so that I can lead by example. I may not be a perfect leader, but I am self aware enough to know where I can improve. Not at all to sound ego centric, but I wouldn't mind being lead by someone like me. I think overall I do a good job and the reason why I think I do, is because I try to "Be the Solution" and stay open to wonderful ideas to achieve success... even if it is not something I would've come up with for myself.
Really, my mentor, my hero and the person I aspire to be when I too reach 800+ years old. 

Words to live by:

“Do or do not... there is no try.”
“Luke: What's in there? Yoda: Only what you take with you.”
“[Luke:] I can’t believe it. [Yoda:] That is why you fail.”
“Named must your fear be before banish it you can.”

Thankful Three

  1. For taking chances
  2. For learning to put myself first
  3. For Nutella S'mores (I didn't have any Hershey's, great discovery)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Summary: Nike+ Sportband

It has been a simple Sunday so far. My dreamy family let me sleep in and let me tell you, it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

Yesterday was a little busy. I had 18 miles on the schedule, but if you have been keeping up, you will know that I have not been keeping up on my long runs. I love that there is a good "short" marathon training plan in Runner's World called Late Entry on page 37. It is a 4 week plan, I have 7 more weeks until the marathon. I plan on keeping my 2 week taper from my original plan and adding the 4 week RW plan right before that. I will do 12 next weekend and start the RW then Taper weeks. My goal is to finish without being pulled off the course which means finishing in under 6.5 hours. Sounds doable I know, but my first and only marathon finish time is 6:23:37 and San Diego Rock N Roll 2006. It was an easier course (terrain), I had a partner mostly and I didn't miss a single training run. I bonked in that event at mile 10, literally walked until about mile 16-18 then finished pretty strong. The humidity factor and my nutrition plan were less than perfect. This time, I'll have good weather conditions on my side, experience (mentally) for the distance and a better sense of my nutritional needs.

My girlfriend, whom I will from here on our refer to as Ms. Pepper Spray (MPS) said she needed to get in a long run this weekend, 8-10 miles. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to get back into the swing of things having a partner. So I mapped out 10.2 miles. Like a smart girl that I am, I decided that cheese, salami and wine are not a great night before meal. So Friday night I had cheese, salami and a mixed drink made with Maker's Mark. Really?! I don't know when I am going to learn my lesson, but fortunately my digestive system protested Friday night and I had no, as in Z-E-R-O GI problems on my run Saturday. Woo to the Hoo! The pace was pretty slow for my friend who has earned her way to sub 10 minute miles, but it was faster than I probably should have reasonably held for 10 miles. My goal was to finish in under 2 hours and we came in at 1:56 (11:30ish pace?). Not bad, considering a mini walk break for Gu & Shot Blocks. This is the first time I have run more than 8 miles since July 4th so I am very happy with the result.

Good News:
My July 4th, 8-mile run had me limping because my ITB on the left side was acting up. Like someone driving a knife into the outside of my knee kind of acting up. Since then I signed up for physical therapy and my knee didn't even threaten any problems on my 10.2 mile run. In fact, while my legs and hips started to feel fatigued, I probably could've squeezed out a couple more miles and felt ok. Good news, saved $80 on the same day TRI registration by not registering (too tired). How is this good news? I used the money to finally get me a Nike+  Sportband. It won't give me an elevation profile when I download data, but I will get distance, pace, reg. clock time and calories both while I run and downloadable for tracking. I just don't have the cash for the Garmin I would want and I am not even sure if I want it. The Garmin 310XT is pretty bulky. 

Bad News:
I still haven't purchased my replacement bladder for my camelback fanny pack water thingy. So I stuffed a water bottle in there instead and my lower back is not please with me at the moment. More bad news is that I didn't have time to ice bath after my run and was teaching a tamale workshop with my mom an hour after my run. I was on my feet for 4-5 straight hours, then went out with D, R and a couple other girls for D's birthday. My body was toast. My feet, knees, hips and lower back were begging me for rest and I was supposed to do a triathlon today. So no triathlon today, much needed rest was a requirement today.

Yeah, pretty boring update, but there you have it, it is a pretty simple Sunday around here.

Thankful Three
  1. Got a new sports bra today in the next size down, so excited for shrinking boobs.
  2. For running partners, so didn't think I was going to make it to 10 when I mapped it.
  3. For grandparent's, my hubby and I get a lunch date alone this afternoon...which will include a shopping trip to REI. YAY!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Turn Around-Mama's Virtual Race Report

Wednesday Hump Day sounds funny, but like an out and back run it marks the turn around to the work week. This week is a special week for MCMama as she locks down another decade. In celebration she has organized a pretty freaking awesome virtual race with varying distances. Since I had 4.0 on my schedule today I was ready to rock it out.
4.0 miles in 47 hard earned minutes
So a smart person would have done a before picture, I am not a smart person and as you will read, a post race picture was so not going to happen.

Plan: meet a girlfriend at 5:15 for a 4.0 miler before the heat sets in with a goal of 42 minutes or less.

What actually happened: I woke up at 3:30 am anxious about a big presentation at work. Fell back asleep, woke up with digestive issues and was running late for the 5:15 run. I guess book club night at the movies with a pre-meal of wine, cheese and salami is not the best pre race meal. I step outside in my long sleeve and it feels like 75 degrees already and humid. Oh wait, it gets better, I took the wrong exit on my way and was even later than expected.

Race Time: We started out on a country road and about a mile in (11:26 pace) I knew it was going to be a rough one, darn pre-race "meal". At mile 2 I had picked up pace (10:30). Approaching mile 3 I had to walk a little just to ensure that my intestines wouldn't fall out. At about this time my run went to hell in a hand basket. A wild dog came running from a farm house and my partner who was a few steps ahead of me was prepping to discharge her pepper spray. I of course did not see her doing this because I was watching to see if the dog was actually going to cross the road to come after us. My partner swung back towards me and the dog and discharged the spray. The dog was too far away, but not to fret my face picked up the slack. Wouldn't want to waste pepper spray after all.

So of course we stop running, I am completely blinded in my left eye and my right eye is tearing pretty badly. Oh yeah, and my face is on F-I-R-E! My friend is obviously worried about me and worried about the dog, ahem, now two dogs that are way too close for comfort. I couldn't see them, but the ferocious barking sounded scarily close. We are running in Walnut Orchards and I just so happen to hear sprinklers. My partner grabs my arm and walks me over. I rinsed, rinsed, rinsed while she yelled at the top of her lungs "Go Away Dog" and threatened to pepper spray them. Was enough was out of my eyes we start walking to make sure the dogs wouldn't chase us. When we were far enough away we resumed running. My friend was mortified to say the least, but really it wasn't that bad. So we start trucking along and I have completely forgotten about my digestive issues, we're going to salvage this run after all. Then about a 1/4 mile later a duster started spraying the Walnut trees and we had to pull our shirts over our faces to be able to half way breathe for about an 1/8 of a mile. Yeah, apparently pepper spray wasn't enough. Half mile from her house I my body remembers I have having digestive issues. And that is how the 47 minute 4.0 mile Mama Goes Master's Virtual Race came to an end.

I had long sleeves that I used to wipe my eyes over and over. Unfortunately the skin on my wrists were on fire for a couple hours even after my shower from pepper spray being wiped on them. My lips burned for a couple hours and my face felt the pepper burn until about lunch.

I was going for a "Do Over" tonight at the track, but the heat was awful and I had an opportunity to run with a group instead of alone so I did a leisurely 3 miles instead.

Thankful Three

  1. For great stories to tell, I mean really Bears and Pepper spray in one week? I'm a lucky girl.
  2. For running partners, totally worth the pepper spray in the face.
  3. For 4-Food Groups Dinner, classic in our house and delicious every time.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Motivation: Ho Shower

Yeah, you read that right, Ho Shower. I usually do not indulge things that are not PC, but really this one was pretty startling given the circumstances.

So this week you probably were thinking that this athlete training for an October marathon was out doing her long run...FALSE. For the second weekend in a row I have been hiking with the hubby. The weekend before last was luxurious with day hikes and an over night in a comfy hotel. Well not this weekend, this weekend was a little more rugged. We left town late on Friday night and found a camp site about 15 miles away from our trailhead to stay over. We got there around 9:30 PM, made camp, a small fire and got through the night getting acclimated to the elevation (about 6800 ft).

Saturday we headed to our trail head, threw on our not so lightly packed 20 lb backpacks and were on our way with cousins A & R. Love couples camping trips. We started up our trail, so we thought, and not so quickly realized, 3/4 of a mile up, that we were on the wrong trail. Our total elevation change on the trail we were supposed to take was 200 ft. Pretty easy 5.4 miles. Well in 3/4 we covered an 800 foot climb. Yup, we went from 6300 ft to 7100 ft. Then, in case this wasn't fun enough, we decided the shortest route to the lower trail was not backtracking, but scaling down a gorgey style drop. Did I mention I am terrified of steep drop offs, like paralyzing kind of fear. Some how I survived the climb down and we found the trail we were supposed to take.

As we are strolling along a 1 mile segment that is more of a horse trail than a hiking path we saw LOTS of bear Sh*&, L-O-T-S. Yes I read the sign at the trailhead that read "You are in Bear Country", but I don't think I really comprehended it until this one mile stretch. We got to our camp spot, it was cozy, I brought a book to read, but 30 pages in I was ready for a nap. I slept for 3 hours while the hubby and A fly-fished.

Upon waking around 4:45 PM I realized I should probably wash up before it got too cold. So cousin R and I went our separate ways to the river to clean up. Upon return, A said something along the lines of how we took a "Ho Shower." When he saw my confusion, he explained that since we did not fully submerge and only washed the "Hot Spots" that it is considered a Ho Shower. So what is more motivating on a Monday than a good quality real shower.

In other news, I had my first semi-Bear encounter. Yes at 3:30 am on Sat/Sun there was a little nudge to our tent opening. The moonlight was so bright all I could see was the bear's silhouette. It felt like an eternity that he just stood there and stared at our tent. I was too afraid to wake up the hubby for fear he would scare the bear and provoke him to lunge at the tent, so I just laid there trying to control my breathing and heart rate. After a while when I went from trying to talk myself out of the fact that I was seeing an actual bear, I started to shake uncontrollably. I have never been more afraid in my life. Once I was confident the bear was gone, I woke up my husband. He thought I was cold and hugged me. I looked at him and said, "I don't think I can ever go camping again." Yes tears were welling up in my eyes and I told him there had been a bear outside our tent. My hubby said he was sorry, hugged me and promptly fell right back asleep. Nice huh! At least I got flowers out of the deal next morning.

I don't know how I was able to sleep for a couple more hours, but I did. And for fun on our hike out on Sunday we decided to count the bear poop on Bear Sh&% Trail, Guess what? It was WAY more than I thought, 79 separate droppings. Some dusty and old, some fresh, but literally a total of 79 just in the 1 mile segment.

Any tips on what I should have done about the Bear? Google says try and scare the bear, but trying not to make a sound seems to have worked for me.

Thankful Three
  1. That a bear didn't eat me
  2. That I have the resources to shower daily, seriously folks, a Ho Shower is just sad
  3. That I killed our hike both days and was easily conquering any up hills

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Turn Around-Friendship

“Truly great friends are hard to find, 

difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.”

Wednesday Hump Day sounds funny, but like an out and back run it marks the turn around to the work week. For me this is a very special week as tomorrow and Friday are going to be a great change of pace. I was nominated by my employer to participate in an Intergovernmental Management Training opportunity. I am not sure I have said too much about where I work, but I will say that I am a federal employee. This training opportunity will bring together a variety of levels of government: city, county, state and federal. It is designed for management level employees with a minimum of 3 years mgmt experience, but no more than 10. I am very excited about this, but because it is a 2-day retreat style training my husband is fairly sure trust falls are going to be involved. What is even better is that this 2-day training will be repeated 5 more times between now and June 2011. So what does this have to do with friendship? Well not much except I will probably be making new friends. 

Actually, I am starting with this because while I do not like to talk about what I do specifically, I can say that leadership is one of my passions as is ethics, cultural-ethnic studies and fun topics like friendship. This blog started out as a way to talk about my way back into fitness and all the things I wish i could or would do were I not such an ambitious slacker. Well writing is one of my "wish I was good at it" things, and blogging fulfills that wish for me a little. So instead of strictly fitness, running, triathlon and the like, I would like to randomly plug in a few discussions about other things. Please keep your eyes peeled next week as I reflect on the IGMT retreat session and the concept of leadership. Today, I am going to talk just a bit about friendship.

While dropping The Bug off with the sitter, I sat and had a chat with B about friendship. We talked about the value of our friends and the concessions we make to keep friends that fill specific needs. We put up with quirks and some times meanness to get what? Companionship, girl time, someone who will be excited for us or with us during exciting times in our lives, cry with us when we need to let it out and bitch with us when we're pissed off. There are friends who float in and out of our lives, some who leave us forever and those that will never leave us no matter how far away they may go.

I am guilty of having quirks. I am guilty of not sending birthday cards or making regular phones calls. I love to hang out on occasion to have a hot chocolate and gab, but I don't think I could survive super girly hanging out time several times a week (unless we're running and talking, then I am game). I am just not that kind of super social let's talk every night kind of friend. Yes you can say that I don't put in the effort, but I am a low maintenance person and can't stand high maintenance friendships. I have lots of good friend qualities myself. I am loyal, extremely trust worthy, rational and dependable. I am also consistent, caring, compassionate and understanding. I am brave and will try just about anything and am good for last minute invitations which works nicely to my spontaneous friends. If my closest friends need me, I am a reliable resource to tap into. While I hate high maintenance friendships, I tend to cater to the needy person style. I don't have many of those friends, but the ones I do have can be exhausting, but again I weigh what I get from the friendship with the effort is takes to maintain the friendship. It just turns out to be worth it sometimes. The downside is I can be a good friend to a fault. When is dealing with the bad, the quirks or the neediness too much? I have literally stayed in friendships where it was obvious I was completely being taken advantage of or not valued, for example:

  • Stood up or left waiting for someone running a hour late with no phone call or heads up
  • Had mean comments made to me or about me because the other person was feeling hurt or slighted
  • Judged for my friendship style, apparently not hanging out every single time I am invited to something makes it seem like I am rejecting others
  • Having other friends or groups that I participate in without integrating all people from all areas of my social life
  • Being put down for my successes or ignored instead of high five'd
I think the worst thing is not being able to talk about things that are happy and keeping up good positive energy because some friends no matter how much they have in life continue to focus on the negative. And like the old saying goes, misery loves company.

This sounds like a ranting of the bad I know, but having this conversation with B this morning really helped me have a great day. First instead of rushing through baby drop off, it was nice to slow down and have a conversation. It then set the pace for a day of reflection of the friends I have and have had in my life. So yes I may be guarded, there are things about my life and history that only few know the details about, but I think that is ok. I think we all need friends in varying degrees. For most things I am an open book, but it takes a special someone to earn my full trust and I can count those people on one hand. So if I am one of those people for you, thank you for entrusting in me your friendship. If you are one of those people for me, thank you for being part of my life. If I have fallen into a category of people who have at one time or another either taken advantage of you or not valued you enough, I am sorry.
What sets you apart as a friend?
Thankful Three
  1. For my sitter B, thank you for your friendship and all that you do to help my Bug have the most loving and encouraging environment to grow and be the happy girl that she is
  2. For good friends especially Super Hubby your still my #1
  3. For blogland, this medium has been such a wonderful outlet for me

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Motivation: Legs Love Lunges Challenge


Amanda at 5 Miles to Empty has a great challenge going from August 10-Sept 10 challenging folks to do lunges 3x per week. Oh, wait and eck, she wants us to post pictures too! So here are my legs pre-lunge challenge. To make the picture even more attractive I happen to be wearing oversized, baggy/scrunchy shorts. I know, pretty HOT huh! Well, besides the need for photo's, I love challenges and in addition to the lunges, I am doing SOWL and Hard Core challenges, just click the buttons on the right hand side of my page to find out more about those.

If getting my tush, ahem, legs in shape via lunges is not motivating I don't know what is. I have commented alot about my weight loss, but now it is time to focus on toning up my body. The Hard Core, the SOWL and now this Lunge challenge are all great ways to keep my distracted self focused on success and that ladies and gentleman is motivating.

Thankful Three
  1. My hiking weekend with the hubby where he told me, "Honey, Deet is the sexiest perfume you've ever worn"
  2. That we made it home in time to put the kids to bed ourselves last night, I really missed my little ones this weekend
  3. For being invited to play co-ed softball tonight, yes I know what you are thinking and yes I needed one more activity to fill up my free time ;p

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday Five-Me

Again, I am providing a Friday Five late night edition. Enjoy your weekend Bloggy friends! 

  1. Today I had the day off and was planning to do the whole pedicure thing, but I really just needed to get away. I am fortunate enough to live in a prime Central Valley location. This location is affording me the opportunity to head to Lake Tahoe for the weekend and allowed me to head into San Francisco for the day today. Today was all about me. My hubby really can't stand The City, but I love how you can blend in, explore, eat and relax in a busy place completely unnoticed so I went alone. On the agend: Boccalone for an early lunch which was supposed to be breakfast, but I love getting food at the Ferry Building, then I sat at Embarcadero Center and caught up on some reading and just sat in the sun listening to the fountain. I am confident I will finally finish Eat, Pray, Love tonight. Between the round trip BART ride and the park sitting, I am just 35 pages away of being done. Then I met up with my Brother in Law, his girlfriend V and one of their friends for a quick bite at Miller's East Coast Deli, then headed to Union Square for some shopping. For a minute when we arrived at Union Square I grabbed V's arm and said October 17th. I was so excited that we'd be back in October and Union Square is the starting line for the Nike Women's Marathon.
  2. I joined Jamoosh over at Last Mile Lounge for his 13 week CORE program. I have lost a good amount of weight and have been talking about firming up my weight loss by firming up my CORE and this is just the perfect way to get a jump on looking how I feel. In addition my genius physical therapist pointed out that it is not coincidence that my ITB acts up around mile 8 or 9. That mile 8 or 9 is probably when fatigue sets in and my form crumbles. I actually was so blown over by the idea, why didn't I think of that?! A strong CORE I am sure can help ensure that I do not fatigue too early in a run and can keep solid form even on longer runs. Thanks Jamoosh, I'm super excited to get my butt kicked for a few weeks.
  3. Next on the book shelf: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo recommended by my wine club girls and Water for Elephants. Water for Elephants has been on my book shelf for over a year at least, but I have finally been peer pressured in to reading it. By peer pressure, I don't mean anyone is pushing me, but I hate feeling left out and enough people are currently reading it that I am feeling out of the loop so now I am in. Yes I know, I am a complete follower, but whatever at least I am a literate follower.
  4. The Coffee Bean Company makes better hot chocolate than Starbucks, Ghiradelli, Peets or any other chain coffee shoppe I have ever been to.
  5. Mantras. I have had a mantra at work that has really set the pace for my growth. "Be the solution." One never wants to contribute to a problem at work and lot's of people try their best to stay under the radar. I on the other hand took on the mantra about a year to "be the solution." A way to positively position yourself for advancement is to be a go to person and so I have been learning and earning my paycheck by trying my best to be the solution. Why the idea of a mantra has not totally translated over to my personal life is still beyond me. I have little mantras I make up for getting through a workout, run or other physical activity, but not something that I apply to myself on a daily basis. I am working on one. I did come up with one for today that really enhanced my day off, "Me." I know brilliant right?! When I felt like people were watching me rock out in the car, I refocused on "Me", who cares who saw me dancing? Dancing in the car was making me feel fun, free and funky and who cares who stared at me in stand still traffic completely having Dance Party 2010 in the car?! When I was invited to stay a little longer in SF to do something with V, I politely declined because I wouldn't have had that great of a time at her activity and that was ok, because skipping off to SF for the day was all about me.  For the record, the smarty pants over at Wikipedia say that : mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that are considered capable of "creating transformation" (cf. spiritual transformation).[1] So "Me" got me through today, but what kind of mantra can I create for myself that will continue to achieve personal success? 
Do you have a mantra for your life?

Thankful Three
  1. Mantra's
  2. My new deep purple nail polish called "A little Dangerous"
  3. My Go Lite little black dress that I got myself for my birthday, totally worth the expense. It is cute, wrinkle free, easy to pack and you literally can go from hike to dinner and totally be dressed appropriately.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Turn Around-Better Than Me

Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. 
Try to be better than yourself.
~William Faulkner

Wednesday Hump Day sounds funny, but like an out and back run it marks the turn around to the work week. I am really riding a super wave of confidence. I am feeling thinner, prettier and wait for it...faster than I have ever felt. Yes, you heard me right, I am feeling fast. I am very on track this week with my marathon training and that has completely boosted my confidence and sense of pride in myself. To top it off, I am consistently running 10 minute or less miles. Now while that may not really be considered fast to you, it is tremendously fast for me and has me pretty excited about how much I have improved and how much I can continue to improve. Tonight I did my 3 miles and was probably running closer to 9 minute miles. I have learned to embrace the run/walk and tonight I had what I though was the misfortune of standing around at stop lights on my route. However, that little bit of rest helped the times I was running to be much faster than if I were to have continued without stopping. I am getting tired of my estimates and am ready to break down and get either a Garmin or some other form of mile time, distance, pace tracking etc...Tonight they were pitching the whole Nike wrist band thing which is a pretty affordable at $60 compared to a few hundred for the Garmin. Thoughts?

NIKE Women's Marathon
My former trainer is running the Nike women's marathon too and held a meeting at our local Fleet Feet shoe store so that others in our community who plan to run October 17th could meet. The purpose was get a routine of group runs going. So far there are about 10 of us and we have agreed to run Sunday mornings and do speed work together on Wednesday nights. I am so excited to have a group to keep me motivated and I am especially excited about the speed work because I would like to eventually be able to say with certainty that I am a sub 10 minute runner. I can't tell you how hard it is to harness this enthusiasm so I just won't, I am so proud of myself tonight that I can't stop smiling!

The weekend
Tomorrow is my last work day of the week and I am super excited. The kids will go to their respective day cares on Friday and I will be getting a pedicure, hopefully a facial or massage too, we'll see what the salon has available. My husband and I were supposed to go on a serious 3-day backpacking trip, but he is pretty beat up from his backpacking trip last weekend. Instead I get the best of both worlds. Great hiking all day, and a nice cozy hotel bed at night (Sat-Sun). Lake Tahoe is going to be great! Beautiful hikes, then yummy dinner, cozy bed and then a fabulous breakfast before we are off on more hiking adventures. I am so excited to spend some time with my husband. I am a little disappointed that I will be in Lake Tahoe during the Thin Air Distance Festival and not running any of it though. It is a 4-day event with events totaling 26.2 miles for the weekend. My hubby did promise me an attempt at running/fast packing one of our two days so we'll see how that goes. Either way, I am thrilled about spending sometime in the woods. I am sure once we get to the lakes we are hiking to Super Hubby, will fly fish and I will read a book, and I am perfectly fine with that, actually it is perfectly ideal.

Thankful Three
  1. For 33% off at Fleet Feet and the skimpy running skirt/short combo I got and am going to confidently trot around in on my next run
  2. For the most delicious nectarine I have had this season
  3. For the additional 3 pounds I have dropped and the fact that I only have 2 pounds to go to my goal weight, which by the way I thought was way too lofty....time to re-evaluate because I am not even close to how fit I thought my goal weight would look on me. I am going to think long and hard about adding 5-10 more pounds and creating a new goal weight. For now, I will just relish my success.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Motivation: Duh

To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear. ~Buddha 

Last week was a mess of a week mentally. Did I exercise? Nope. My ITB/Piriformis have been an issue for me for a few years, have I stretched or gone to physical therapy? Nope. I was over weight and achy all over, did I choose a sustainable diet to maintain a healthier weight? Nope. I had a several years post college athlete where I was over weight and putting myself down, was that productive? Nope. Like the quote above says to keep the body in good health is a duty and I am ready to get back to work.

When I was a basketball player I practiced 3x a day, 2x with the team and a solo 1-2 hours on my own. I was dedicated, sometimes I hated it, but mostly I loved putting in the time. I enjoyed the agility drills, plyometrics and the dynamic stretching type warm ups. I loved that as a post player I could run with the guards. In fact the last season I played, my pre-season timed mile was 6:31. I didn't eat healthy, I was the player inhaling a Taco Bell Burrito right before that 6:31 mile, but I could definitely afford the calories back then. These thoughts all came flooding back to me today while at physical therapy for my ITB issue. After basketball practice I would always go to the trainer, get some ice, maybe some stim and get rubbed down with crazy hot tiger balm stuff. Today I got a little of everything at PT and I even got to leave with an ice pack wrapped on my leg with saran wrap, ah the nostalgia. I left there feeling like an athlete and OMG is felt frick'n awesome. Talk about Monday Motivation, I-CAN-BE-AN-ATHLETE again, seriously! Ok, not division I basketball athlete, but certainly in the "mom of two kids still running and doing triathlons" division, which in my humble opinion might be better than Div I basketball. You see college athletics ends in 4 short years and I have all kinds of time to continue in the mom of 2 kids division of any sport I choose, which at the moment is running and triathlon.

One of the other ideas I left with was the concept of stretching. Duh! I chatted away with my physical therapist, a former collegiate track athlete, about how we used to view sports. I put in time like it was my job to be fit, strong and versatile as an athlete. We traded stories about how we felt as college athletes, the different stretching techniques that would help me as a new runner and the things I did as a basketball player that would help build my strength as a runner. At one point my therapist asked me what my stretching routine was. I went total "deer in headlights" look. Stretching? Wow, um, I kinda don't stretch. I love yoga, and I'll randomly do some static stretches at home, but I do not stretch before running and only rarely do it after a run. The fact of the matter is if I treat my running or triathlon like the commitment I had as a basketball player, I could be significantly more successful as a person/athlete. Keeping my body strong will no doubt keep my mind fit too. No mental lapses like last week, no weight issues to put myself down about etc. I am very easily coming down to a flattering weight and I am excited to start focusing on some toning and strength training exercises to round out my physique. One of the things I am going to do to help give myself a boost is incorporate dynamic stretching pre-run and some static stretching post run. Dynamic stretching is not static, it involves moving while stretching and some plyometric/agility type drills integrated in to warm up the muscles. It is fun and can really contribute to increased flexibility. I am confident that my tight muscles will be a thing of the past with a few minutes of old school bball warm ups before a run.

What's your stretching routine?

Thankful Three
  1. Duh! remembering I am a pretty knowledge person about dynamic stretching and can really help myself by embracing a form of stretching that is fun for me. Why basketball stretching for running never occurred to me is beyond me.
  2. For finding out my heel is just bruised and it is not plantar fasciitis. Another day or two of icing and I should be good to go!
  3. For being motivated to try and earn a 31 year old version of my 19 year old athletic body. Legs are looking good, now gotta work on the arms & belly. Seems like such an attainable goal to tone up and I love having that positive of an outlook about it.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Saturday Sampler: PR-Fueled by Anxiety

I had an awful week. Awful! Nothing bad happened, but I was completely consumed by anxiety all week. I had the whole knot in the stomach feeling every day, all day. I am fairly sure it had to do with four key things: 1.) Craziness at work 2.) Um, a little mini-pregnancy scare, yikes! 3.) My hubby going backpacking for the weekend and 4.) I again did not train for my TRI

Let's break this down:
1.) I am a planner, I hate being behind and while I love helping others, I hate when doing so affects me meeting deadlines. I am not this way in my normal life, but somehow I am less of a slacker when it comes to work. I hate being anxious about work because that is where I am generally most confident in myself. So there was some minor anxiety and getting everything done by Friday, which I did by the way.
2.) So my body was 100% normal after having my son 2 1/2 years ago. My daughter is 9 months old and I still have no idea what is happening with my body, hence the preggo scare. Children are a blessing, I would love to have 4, blah, blah, blah. However, my husband isn't sure about more and until my body normalizes I am not willing to purposefully send it to into a frenzy again by getting knocked up, pardon my slang. So I was completely relieved to find out that my body is still just trying to figure out which way is up. But still, had crazy anxiety all week until I figured that out.
3.) Super hubby left yesterday at 5:00am for a place so deep in the wilderness it takes a 4 hour hike then a 2 hour drive to get back into cell reception range from his camp spot. I have referred to my hubby as Super Hubby in this blog and that is because he is exactly that. He makes dinner, does laundry and everything in between. He works full time and still manages to make all look easy. So the thought of flying solo with 2 kids under 3 for 3 days has had me a little anxious. Couple that with the general anxiety that I feel knowing any number of things can happen to him in the wilderness and you have quite the butterfly party in the stomach feeling.
4.) I have not been in the water since the last event July 10th. I have ridden my bike 3 times, two of which were VERY leisurely. I have "run" maybe 2-3 times since the last race. I need to start making training a priority, how I am going to do a marathon in October is a little beyond me at this point.

PR Fueled by Anxiety: 1/2 mile swim-16 mile bike-3 mile run
I have the best mother ever. She drove 30 minutes to my home so that I could leave for my Sprint Triathlon at 7:00 am. I went to bed early (9:00 pm) only to be woken up by my son who was missing his Papa at 11:30 pm and again at 1:30 am. I packed the car last night and laid out my clothes. Bummer is I couldn't find my watch anywhere. ANYWHERE!

I arrived at 8:00 when the first wave of men started the swim. I had already eaten a 1/3 of a Blueberry Crisp Clif Bar on the drive. I racked, met a Delta Tri Club member I hadn't met before, set up transition and hit a line free port-o-potty on the way to the water. That is the good thing about arriving late.

I got in the water and the most amazing thing happened. Release. Complete and utter let go of the anxiety. I felt light, I felt free and I felt calm. It was a pretty existential moment and I have never felt that way about something I was doing. I know people do sports to find a place of calm, a time for themselves etc., that is one of the many reasons I do it too, but I have never felt what I felt this morning and it was awesome! The swim started and surprisingly I was trucking along with the freestyle. Usually I am breaststroking before I hit the first buoy, but not today. I felt really good and aside from a decent kick to the left eye in the buoy to buoy section, I felt like I was kicking butt. I did breaststroke when I got kicked and at the bottle neck near the turns, but otherwise freestyle all the way. If I had my watch I would say I went just a smidgen faster than the last two Sprints on this exact course. I had a lot of juice left at this point and was smiling the whole time.

T1-Sorry no watch, but it was pretty seamless and it felt like one of my faster efforts.

Wow, I mean WOW! I learned recently on a no drop ride to go out slower and let my legs warm up. So I spent this time eating a Powergel (chocolate with sodium). About 2 miles out I went up to my big gear and started picking a few people off. I started to let a couple girls pull me (motivate me) and was pretty apprehensive when I felt like I could pass them and sustain it. I had many of these challenges this ride. Should I pass or should I not? Can I sustain my pace if I pass? Shifting went so much better than last time and the turn around came sooner than I felt it should have. The return trip had some wind, but when I finished I felt like I had way to much left. I had been smiling the whole ride.

T2-fast. missed my rack, but it didn't delay me too much. I did see the clock and it read 1:45 and some change, I am guessing I took about a minute or so getting out.

This went well too. Lots of smiles, not a lot of walking, just up a hill or two and through the aid station. Knowing I went into transition at 1:45 and change and finishing in 2:16 and change I am guessing I was running 10ish minute miles and feel really good about the run. The weather was great. The fire roads are totally exposed and it was sunny, but the heat was not a factor today. I walked significantly less than the last two, but it didn't shave much time off my over all finish.

I finished in 2:16:50?? and with a 25 minute adjustment for my wave start I am guessing I came in at 1:52 ish. They haven't posted the results yet, but no podium finish. That is ok, because I would rather PR than get a plaque for 4th place and slower time like I did last time.

TRI for FUN Series
 June: 1:57:29 July 1:59:54 August my guess is in the 1:52 range

Afterward I had a bloggy meet up with P at Adventures of an Average Athlete, you should totally check her blog out. She is as friendly, fit and fabulous and as she puts out there on her blog. I sheepishly waited around a whole hour after I should have left because I thought I was in the top 5 for the Athena division, I was wrong and for the first time I am feeling a little competitive about TRI. With all the juice I had left and as much fun as I was having, I need to learn how to push myself harder.

Thankful Three

  1. My mom, she is amazing in so many ways
  2. Team mates that hang around for Athena awards when no one else does (and they dodidn't say anything when it turns out I didn't finish in the top 5 and we all could've left earlier)
  3. For the lovely anxiety that returned when I pulled into the drive way. Guess it serves as a reminder that parenting is hard and I appreciate having a husband who makes life for us the wonderful thing that it is.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Turn Around-You can't fake the funk!

Wednesday Hump Day sounds funny, but like an out and back run it marks the turn around to the work week. I have felt so blog land lost lately. Time is slipping through my grasp and I am getting nothing done. There is no impending doom that I fear and that I am falling towards. Nope, time is racing for no reason at this point. So Sunday Summary was skipped this week, again. Monday motivation was skipped this week too, NO MOTIVATION. I attempted a Tuesday Tidbit, only to realize I was going to be late for work. So here I am on Wednesday with a little recap and thankful for the turn around.

I already had a couple posts last week so I'll start with Saturday. Saturday we went to a friends birthday party. Now before you think adult, age appropriate festivities, let me correct you. We played Fooze Ball (Spelling?), pool, beer pong (my hubby not me) and were expected to stay all night. I was home by 10:00 and I am barely recovering. It is just not my scene anymore, but we have an obligation to oblige our youthful friend. Sometimes though "you just can't fake the funk." He is great and comes to all the kids birthday parties, travels over an hour ever week to play softball here in town with his friends etc. While I get he only asks us for this one thing every year, I felt like it took away some of my weekend that I would have preferred to use in a more productive way. Enough complaining, I know I am sounding selfish, but it is Wednesday and like I said I am recovering. No not from drinking necessarily, but from not having had a weekend.

Sunday I was regretting that I had a scheduled 7:15 am running date followed by a 9:00 bike date with someone else. About a 1/4 mile into my run I was so glad I had had something scheduled or I would've ended up lounging all day. So 4 miles run/walked then 13.5 miles on the bike and due to a flat tire on my cousin's bike I got in 1 more mile of running. He got a flat so we cut our ride short and were going to try & make it home but it totally deflated. I gave him my bike, told him to go get his truck and come back for me. I ran with his bike for a mile before he got to me. I am going to go ahead and call it a Brick workout:)

Monday, oh ridiculous Monday. Monday was a whole other type of funk. I felt anxiety over nothing, like knots in my stomach. What's that all about. Tuesday, same freaking thing! Ugh, I don't get it. Trust me this is not a funk I would even try to fake, but I am glad that The Turn Around Wednesday seems to be exactly that, a turn around. I think sleeping in today helped a lot, but I need to get active to really feel like myself again.

On the schedule this week Tues-4 miles, Wednes-4 miles, Thurs-4 miles, Sat-10 miles, Sun-3 miles. Not too bad except I already missed Tuesday. I plan on switching Sat & Sun because I am doing a sprint distance TRI on Saturday. I haven't been in the pool in weeks, I need to make time tonight or Friday for a quick swim and make sure I still know how.

On the fun front? More FUNK! In a good way. Tomorrow is my girls wine club night. Chardonnay is our wine theme, but we also have a dress up theme, 80's night! Woo Hoo, I am excited, but still need to find time after work to pick up a few accessories. There is just not enough time in the day.

Thankful Three

  1. For sleep
  2. For the prospect of a good TRI this weekend
  3. For wine club tomorrow night, I need a girls night that is more "my scene"