Friday, December 17, 2010

Pat Griskus finish

I'm still feeling like death warmed over and the lack of exercise (taking my rest week like a good little girl) is making me crabby and more tired.

I just got one of those emails from a race to order photos. I went through them and was reminded of the finish at the Pat Griskus Sprint. I was coming into the race shoot and a guy came up behind me and attempted to pass and I was NOT going to let that happen. He didn't realize at first that I was trying to stay with him.... the result was some funny pictures and we had a good laugh about it at the finish.

This is one of the reasons I love this sport so much. So fun to meet new people out there. You can read my race report HERE.

This first shot is just me ... I wish they had the other guy in it too. I'm laughing at myself and the effort I was putting out.
And this one is he and I after we crossed. Apparently the sun came out the moment we crossed that line.
I got a good laugh out of this and wanted to share some high notes after all my belly aching about my state of health (which I realize is really not that bad... I have a head cold, yes I feel like ass, but it will go away)....

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Today I struggled through a 14 mile run. I'm supposed to be entering true marathon training. Thank God I'm base building right now and not working on speed yet. I've been sick (as I know I've mentioned). It's been hanging around for weeks. I noticed while looking at my training log that I was mentioning feeling 'something coming on' over a MONTH ago. Seriously! Then the family got sick while I was still fighting the bug. It came to head and I really felt like garbage and now it's lingering. I'll start to feel like maybe I'm getting my groove back and then I feel crappy again. My energy is 'okay'... mentally I'm shot! This is not boding well for my attempt at a BQ. I know I've got some time, but time is going by quickly. I'm almost 2 months away from race day. I'm going to have to start doing tempo work and I'm worried that I'm not going to be able to bring my A game. Shit I feel like the best I've got right now is my C game. I'm running slower now than I've run in years.

I'm trying really hard not to freak out!

Not only am I feeling weak in my training efforts my normal daily tasks/routine has me feeling overwhelmed. I still feel like I'm just peeking out of the rabbit hole... not quite coming out. I feel socially stunted. This is not like me. I'm a social person, but I'm struggling just to reach out to people in ways that I used to do easily.

None of this is causing us to have a joyful holiday. It's all just like regular day... or not even as good as a regular day. These things happen right. I'm so ready for a break. A day where I can sleep in (which I'll probably never do.. I'm not a good sleeper inner) then just laze around and not worry about the state of my house, the growing laundry pile, the xmas stuff that is looming, what to do w/ the kids during the cold rainy days.... blah blah blah... I'm whining. I know I've got it good. I have a roof over my head, we have expendable income to pursue things we enjoy (ie marathons/triathlons), my kids are fairly good... NORMAL 4 year olds, my husband is loving and understanding. I know I should just be happy to have all these things....

Okay I'm really sounding pathetic now. Just wanted all my bloggy friends to know I'm still here. I'm still checking in on you... I'm just feeling lazy and slow and like a hermit. It will all come together again and I'll be 'normal'... RIGHT!

And I want everyone to know it's not all sunshine and roses, speedy runs and great recovery. We all have our slumps. I'm right smack dab in the middle of one... I'll see you on the other side!

PS. I couldn't really handle anymore echinachea or Vit C.. just so you know I'm hitting all the usuals to try to get the funk out! Maybe I should just start drinking heavily. Surely this funk couldn't exist in that environment right? :D

Friday, December 10, 2010

What does it all mean?

A few people have asked what does it mean.. this Trakkers thing?

It means a couple of things.

1. Team mates: I get to be part of an amazing team of athletes! We come from all kinds of backgrounds and locations. We're bloggers, we're triathletes, we're whitty, funny and talented and are quickly becoming friends. Since we got the news the emails have been a flyin'. Plans are being made and we're already playing the games that teammates play. It's great fun already. (I have linked to each and every teammates blog on the right side bar so you can check out these crazy freaks, er, rockin' athletes.)

2. Sponsors: We will be supported by some amazing sponsors. So far we are on board with Kestrel Bikes, Avia Shoes (the official footwear sponsor of the USAT) and SBR (triswim, triglide, foggle). This is all new to me and I find it to be simply amazing. I'm honored to be able to represent great brands. Carole (aka Mama Bear-totally saying I know her... cause yea, I'm cool. I KNOW her. Totally. No, really I do.) along w/ Teammate Michael Lovato (yea I'm totally going to pretend I KNOW him.. cause really I don't) are kicking butt on other great sponsors.

3. Rev3. Check out my 2011 race schedule. I'm all up on the Rev3 Series. We are in cahoots w/ Rev3 and we are PROUD to be representing them as a race brand. You wanna have a high end triathlon experience? Pony up to a Rev3 start line and see what all the talk is about!

This is an amazing opportunity I have been offered and I am humbled by my teammates. They are amazing and supportive and I don't take the chance to be part of the team lightly. I plan to represent them (and our sponsors) to the best of my ability.

So come along for the ride. I promise it's going to be wild and crazy with a lot of highs, lows and A LOT OF FIRSTS!!!! FIRST HALF (I can't DNF all of them can I) and maybe (probably) first FULL at Cedar Point! (there's my big secret. I told myself that if I made the team I would do the FULL... well, I don't want to be a liar and really there is no time like the present right!?)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

2011s Awesomeness is already in full effect!

Perhaps you already noticed the little tweak to the blog design? Sportin' a new color!!!

And the AWESOMENESS begins! I am excited to announce that I will be a member of Team TRAKKERS in 2011! Thank you to everyone who sent me such wonderful words of excitement and encouragement! I made some 'promises' to myself IF I made it. Uh, in hindsight I think these 'promises' I made were more to 'let me down easy' if I didn't make the team. So now it's go time and I have some things to figure out! :)

This makes my race season pretty easy! I would absolutely LOVE to do each and every Rev3 race, but reality is likely to slap me in the face as I sit down and review both calendar and budget! :) The for sure races:

June 4&5 Quassy - duh
July 10th Portland, OR (long trip to see family)
Sept 11 Cedar Point, OH (a vaca with the family - Gma and Papa included)

The others are ones I would LOVE to do and WILL do if the calendar and budget align.

May 15th Knoxville, TN
Oct 8th/9th Anderson, SC (right next door to Clemson University)
Feb 19th&20th 2012 Costa Rica (ok this one is a total pipe dream, but it is the year of awesomeness so who knows)

No matter how it all boils down it's going to be an awesome year. Now if I can just get my body free of this gunk so I can get to work on my first race as a member of Team Trakkers! Austin Marathon 2/20!!!!

Sponsors are still being worked out, but one we know about is Kestrel Bikes. So guess what this mama is getting for Christmas/Birthday/Anniversary/Valentine's... you get the idea... a fancy new tri bike!!! Yeah me. There is a rumor out there that there will be a pretty little Trakkers number that looks a little something like this:

Stop drooling. She's pretty ain't she!? We'll see if there will be a green one... if there isn't there are blue, yellow and red to chose from. All totally doable! :)

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Poking my head out of the rabbit hole!

I feel like I went underground for a while. I haven't really been blogging, tweeting or Facebooking a whole lot. I haven't really been dealing with people in the real world too much either. I've been lurking a bit here and there, but my google reader is all kinds of balled up right now. Lot's of catching up to do.

The short story is that Tom was gone... I hung in there okay through that. We're all pretty used to that deal by now. Then he came back and the anticipation of his return always sets me up for a huge face plant! This time it was worse than other times. Not only was he jet lagged he was SICK. In bed for four days sick sick. While I am not a nurturing or sympathetic person by nature it was especially hard for me to keep keeping on for those 4 days. I was all ready to let my guard down and share the parenting responsibilities. I was already fighting a cold (thanks kids) myself and feeling rather crummy, but Tom was OUT! In bed! Jetlag + flu (he thinks) = completely SHITTY! So the kids and took off and were out of the house for most of those 4 days in efforts to give Tom a chance to rest and to keep the healthy ones healthy. All looked well. Tom started getting out of bed and then WHAM! Both kids got a fever. Happy Thanksgiving everyone... no one had an appetite and we did a lot of sitting around the house. I continued to stay away from this flu... then the kids were up and at em and the holiday was over. Time for Tom to return to work. Wouldn't ya know it... my turn. Thank God I didn't have whatever it was they had, but I was sick.. Not uberfeverish and in bed for four days sick, but weak, sore, coughing, sore throat head floating sick.

I didn't want to do or see anyone... not really an option. Couldn't stay in bed. So I coped the best I could worked through the basic needs of two 4 year olds and we rocked the house some more. I hate to stay in the house all day.... every day... and for weeks on end. Just shoot me! Even if I'm sick. Obviously no workouts are happening during this time... double shoot me!

I started to get bored, lonely and agitated on top of the sick. Man I was a peach of a person to be around let me tell you. Needless to say the holidays aren't so joyful around these parts. The kids are crabby bc they were sick and have now been stuck in the house way too much. I'm crabby for pretty much the exact same reasons. Joy joy joy!

It's strange on one hand I've been lonely and on the other hand people have just plain been irritating me! Didn't really want to deal w/ anyone or anything..... BUT....

I think the veil has finally started to lift. After a sub-par run yesterday I think the cobwebs are getting worked out of my head. I'm still coughing and kinda phlegmy, but my head is getting right. That right there is all I need... for my head to be right. My energy to return and to be able to run (and enjoy it).

I'm psyched to head back to the pool tonight... though I'm trying to keep my expectations for that workout in check. Knowing that taking over a WEEK off swimming is certainly not going to help my technique or endurance. It's about just getting started back at it again.

Marathon training officially started this week... first run done, but not a great confidence booster. Coach assures me that all is well and we have plenty (uh, 11 weeks) of time!! Trust grasshopper, trust! You have nothing if you don't have trust. So coach, I trust you! And I only had to force myself a little bit to say that.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

REV3 Portland!

I am totally jazzed that REV3 is headed to Portland! If anyone wants to know where they can find me on July 10th, 2011... this is it! We are due for a trip to visit family (BIL and SIL are in Portland and my MIL and FIL just moved to Brookings, OR) and this gives us (er, me) even MORE reason to get out there.. to put a date on the trip and make it happen. I know there are quite few PNWers reading this blog... you in? Come on... top of the line treatment at REV3!!! Plenty of time to train and well, I'll be there!

I ordered a pair of Avia Running shoes to give them a test drive. They appeared on my doorstep today. Unfortunately I can't really run in them right now because I'm sick as a dog... but I wore them around a bit and they are nice. A nice snug fit in the heel and a roomy toe box (key to me.. the loser of toenails). And though it doesn't matter (IT TOTALLY MATTERS) they are way cuter in person than they are on the internet. The pink mesh is layered and gives it a really nice texture. The colors are really bright and pretty (for now anyway) and who wouldn't love the skull and cross bones on the back?

Sorry about the cruddy photo (I can't find my real camera...I'm blaming my husbands tendency to just put stuff wherever the hell he wants.) I'm hoping to be well enough to take these up to the gym with me on Sunday for a little TM spin. I'll report back after that!

I've had my head down the last couple of weeks... first staying a float while Tom was in Asia and then dodging the sick bullet for weeks and now I'm sick. BLASTED! I've also continued to clean out the house. We are really trying to simplify our lives and have LESS STUFF! I need things to be as simple as they can get before training starts in 2011.. there will be time for screwing around with a bunch of crap I rarely if ever use. It feels really good! REALLY good. (And my tri/running gear has even gotten a slim down.. a SMALL slim down, but I'm not leaving it untouched. Don't get me wrong we still have WAY more bikes than any family would EVER need, but that's really not mine to downsize if you know what I mean.) If I get the GREEN I'll replace a bike, but I PROMISE I will remove the current bike from the premises... the frame anyway)

So I'm still here... pluggin' along and praying for the sickies to vacate! I'm scared we're just going to keep giving it back to each other. Fingers crossed for health at the Mount household!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's officially Christmas Season... It's Shutterfly time!

Every year I tell myself I'm going to get our CHRISTMAS cards out BEFORE Christmas and EVERY year I send a HOLIDAY card because I can't get my act together until AFTER Christmas. It's an endearing quality, no?

I suspect this year will be no different as it's Dec. 1st next week... I haven't yet logged into Shutterfly to peruse the choices for cards or to peruse my photos to see if we got anything 'card worthy' (and now also print worthy since all I do is shoot w/ my iPhone) throughout the year.

I've used shutterfly to make photo books in the past too. A nice way to chronicle the kids speedy growth. I'm also considering making a calendar this year... shh don't tell the grandparents!... It's so easy to upload your photos and then use them in the various options be it holiday cards, invites, calendars or photo books.

And sweet bonus.. Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly So if you are a blogger.. check it out. Save some coin so you can buy your sweet (uh, or yourself) something nice this holiday!!!

They have a really nice selection of designs to please all types. Go check it out!

Friday, November 26, 2010

GU Roctane Kona flavor

GU did a promotion during Kona.. I'm sure you remember.. where you could get a free box of GU Roctane in a special Kona flavor with the purchase of two boxes of GU. I went for it and got my box of Roctane w/ pretty hibicus flowers on it, but hadn't used it yet. I headed out for my run yesterday and was feeling a bit 'under nourished' and tired so I took two gels with me.. one chocolate and one Kona Roctane.

Three miles into this run I felt like CRAP and doubted I would make it the full hour. About 20 mins in I stopped to walk up a crazy CT Alps hill and decided to take the Roctane. I ripped the pouch open and squeezed some in... swished it around in my mouth to enjoy the nice KONA flavor. Hmm.. it tasted okay, but it had a kind of medicinal taste. It was a familiar taste.. WHAT WAS THAT!? AHA! I've had my fair share of dental work and if you haven't had that pleasure you may not be able to understand what I'm talking about. It tasted just like that gel stuff they put on your gums w/ a big huge Qtip. They flavor it (who knows why). It usually tastes a bit like bananas w/ a medicinal after taste. The KONA Roctane tasted exactly like that! EXACTLY! I've never used Roctane before (always just straight up GU) so I'm not sure if this medicinal taste is part of the Kona mix or the Roctane mix.

I chugged some water and kept on trucking. The medicinal flavor quickly subsided.

Would I recommend this product to a friend? Based on flavor... NO! Based on results... YES! I had started out on a lackluster run that I wasn't sure I would be able to complete and ended up completing my long run ... TWICE the time/distance as I had originally set out to do. I did have my other regular GU 45 mins after the Roctane, but I was really surprised at how much better I felt after taking the Roctane...

So if you are HUGE on the flavors skip this one, but if you are more about the results and can tolerate some 'not so awesome' flavor GO FOR IT!

hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving... save my 2 hour break for a nice long run I spent much of the day wiping noses, getting water and warm milk, taking temperatures and snuggling on the couch. All in all not a horrible thanksgiving. We needed some good snuggly down time.

Oh and I also whipped up this little gem of a bag. Well, finished it anyway. In the interest of cleaning out my house I found this wool shirt that my dad wore in Vietnam that I used to wear in my highschool days. I no long consider it part of my fashion repetoire, but I didn't want to part with it so I made it into a bag. Not too bad, eh?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Catch up Time!

I've had things rolling around in my head to post, but my 'duties' have been keeping me busy.. along w/ this pesky thing called spin class. I have a new appreciation for what goes into planning those classes I've been taking for so many years! Damn... it's hard work. Or perhaps it's just me!

I feel like the last two weeks have just flown by. Seriously... it's going to be December next week? And year end only a few weeks after that. My head is spinning just thinking about it!

I'm still waiting to find out about Trakkers, but it seems things are moving along there and I'm hopeful to know more by the end of the year (hopefully sooner). I've discovered that some of my bloggy friends have applied as well... and while I shouted it from the rooftops for the world to see they kept it a little secret. You sneaky devils! You know who you are. I'm excited about the prospect of maybe being able to meet some of these people AS TEAMMATES in the real world. Yeah REV3! And how could I not be excited about the prospect of calling these two amazing athletes TEAMMATE! Sonja and Michelle just kicked A$$ and took names at IMAZ! Both earning a KONA slot. Sonja's second Kona earn in A YEAR... after going to Kona in October. These women are both crazy cool and excellent determined ATHLETE MOMs! Check out their blogs... they both are working through their race reports for IMAZ!

Warning.. the rest of this blog post is likely to be one huge mess.. but this is kinda how I've been feeling over the last couple of weeks!

I learned in the last week that SLEEP is essential. Okay.. I learned it again. How many times will I teach myself this lesson!? Tom was in Asia and I'm a horrible sleeper when he is gone. Not only do I stay up WAY too late, but I don't sleep well at all. Top that with maintaining my workouts and keeping up w/ two whirling dervishes who, I might add, have really kicked it up a notch lately and I was toasted by the time Tom was due to return home. Well, he got home - AWESOME, sick w/ what we think was the flu - NOT awesome! Three days in bed for my poor husband.. 3 days OUT OF THE HOUSE as much as possible for me and the kids.... If I wasn't fried before I am REALLY fried now.

Unfortunately the quarantine of the virus dd not work and both kids woke up this a.m. with a fever. I'm still standing.... barely. At least I've been going to bed and getting some rest. I'm certainly feeling the affects of my body fighting something and the exhaustion still holding strong.

Goal numero uno during Tom's next trip... GO TO BED already! :) It's a must do non-negotiable to avoid the crash and burn!

When Tom was gone I was thinking a lot about my 2011 Year of Awesomeness. Most of the things that I have centered on this are athletic when really if it's going to be the year of awesomeness it really needs to include all walks of my life! I'm bound and determined to make this happen. I'm going to need a lot of support from Tom and the kids to execute on the athletic endeavors and in return I owe them the best I have to give them as a wife and mother... this blog, afterall, is called WIFE MOTHER ATHLETE. And Athlete is last for a reason. While these goals are important to me they are secondary to my role as wife and mother! If I want to have balance then I need to call out what my plans are regarding my family! I read a blog post not too long ago (was it Goals for the Week?) talking about how we schedule our workouts and THEY GET DONE... shouldn't we do this in other parts of our lives? I believe she was talking about her sex life. :) Hey, it falls into that WIFE category... big time! AM... how's that going? We DO want to hear! So on the list of to do's is to really dive into what this means to me. Instead of just letting the whole family thing 'take care of itself' it's time to get proactive about it. I need to schedule things in that way as well. (and my computer time... I know you all know the time suck that can be. I won't give up my bloggy friends, but I know I can stream line things... I need a "block" like parent block for some stuff... SERIOUSLY!)

Another way that I plan to make more time in my life for my 2011 AWESOMENESS goals to become a reality is to continue to clean my house out. And by clean I'm not talking vacuum and organize I'm talking GET RID OF IT! A quote to be placed on my "vision board"...which will get made as soon as my season is solidified... is "just enough"... it's directed mainly at STUFF!!! What the hell do I need all this crap for!? I mean really. I'm only forced to organize it, pick it up, clean it, move it to clean something else, trip on it on my way to do something... ENOUGH! Really I don't feel like we have a lot of stuff, but I swear I got rid of a CAR LOAD of stuff and I still feel like we have tons of stuff. Just unnecessary things.... I need to keep this in consideration as the holidays come and every time I go shopping ... like to TARGET! Jesus is that place a black hole of buying shit I don't need or what? If I'm finding myself so bored that I am shopping I need to pack the fam up and hit the woods STAT!

I'm also cleaning out our photos. I'm HORRIBLE about backing up my computer and the macbook is acting up. I'm worried I will lose EVERYTHING! In the interest of keeping things streamlined I am going to make annual photobooks. (Got this idea from my friend Erin. They do this every year and it's great fun to look through them.) No ordering individual photos to then need to be organized into a book...which just end up rolling around the house. The books will all be the same size and will look nice on a shelf. I'm using (at my friends recommendation) It's pain staking to load all of the photos into the software then into the template, but I know I will be glad I did when this computer goes to sleep for the last time!

And the Spinning. Good lord this opened a whole can of worms that I wasn't expecting! I was a nervous wreck about teaching this class. I got my cert YEARS ago .. I think 3 years.. but never did anything with it because I was so paralyzed by it. Well my friend Jill found a place that was looking for spin instructors... she was going to get certified... had just started taking spin classes and was all over this! What the hell is wrong w/me I thought? I've been taking spin classes for years, I've been certified for years.... why wasn't I teaching. I could get paid to get a work out, get a free membership to a place with a pool (albeit a place that is a tad far away). We are approaching THE YEAR OF AWESOMENESS! It's time to start being awesome already! So I contacted the lady, went to meet her and was offered a job. I think she was impressed w/ the fact that I ran right before I was meeting with her, I'm a triathlete and I appear to be relatively fit. Does any of this mean I can teach a class. HELL NO, but she was confident that I could do it. Others were confident that I could do it. I was fairly confident that I could do it. It was to be a week and a half before I taught my first class. I went to work on profiles and play lists. This was no small task for me. I had the same music on my play list for TWO YEARS!!! TWO YEARS! I am not exaggerating. Two years, six days a week... same 20 or so songs. I was all good w that. Needless to say I didn't have a lot of music in my iTunes Library to pull from. I got all my CDs out (mostly purchased in HS and college) and took what I thought I could use and put the rest in a pile to hit the garbage (hey I'm getting rid of stuff!). I came up with a profile and playlist that I figured would kick some serious spin ass. I was told these people wanted to WORK!! Okay then! I can do that! I used a mix of stuff... some Eminem (love him), some Christina Agruilera, some Flo Rida and I took a risk and put Megadeth - Symphony of Destruction and Janes Addiction in there. The Megadeth stuff went over just ok.

Tuesday came and there was no turning back. I felt like I feel the morning of a big race... and this made me feel absolutely ridiculous. I got there early and was able to talk to some of the ladies that were getting set up and it turns out their set up on the bike was all wrong and I was able to remedy that (they said their knees had been hurting). I felt pretty good about this and that made me feel a bit more legit. Once we got going it was fine. I have some things to work on, but I think I worked everyone. It's hard to really tell because while I'm kicking my own ass it's obvious that some people are dogging it. It's there workout though and I can't turn that dial or increase their turn over. I can only offer them some tunage and a workout!!!

These emotions of fear really opened some things up for me ... an insight into my psyche. I SO wanted to call and quit before I had even started. Thinking that I just couldn't do this. That I didn't need to do it bc we don't need the money and I'll certainly have plenty to do as marathon training picks up and then tri training after that. Did I really want to have this commitment to someone outside of my family and my training? When it came down to it I felt like I did need to do this... for a few reasons! I needed to prove to myself that I could do it. I needed to move outside my comfort zone! I WANT to share fitness and the lifestyle with others and this is a sure fire way to do that. I want to show my kids that you can do things you might think you can't. I'm not sure if this job (can I really call it a job?) will turn into anything more, but I guess that's not really the point.

Alright year of AWESOMENESS... I'm preparing for you.... are you ready for me!? Can you handle it!?

What plans do you have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone in 2011. It's terrifying, but exhilarating!!! Come on all the cool kids are doing it!

(I warned you that it was going to get jumbled up in here!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Interesting swim breakthroughs.

Rolled (no pun intended... see below) to swim tonight.. though I REALLY wanted to go to bed. Tom's been gone and I've not been sleeping enough. :(

Our regular coach was busy tonight so we had a sub. He's a highschool swim coach in a neighboring community. Jon was JUST what I needed. We didn't go in and hammer out sets. We did drills... the entire time. It was FABULOUS! We worked a lot on rotation.. also fabulous! He told me I need to swim slower because you can really feel when you do things when you swim slow. WOW! Not that I can work on speed, but I need to spend time FEELING the water.. feeling the balance in the water, feeling the catch and feeling the rotation. When you are FEELING those things you basically sink like a rock when you are going slow.

So what did we do?

1st up:
kick: no board, no fins. Slow flutter kick originating from the upper leg. Arms outstretched in front of you. Lift head to breath then rebalance after your legs sink from breathing.

kick: on back, arms at your sides, rotation around the axis going straight through your body. Don't rotate fully to your side. Make sure your hips and shoulders stay in line and keep a nice slow rhythm.

swim: use your upper arm to initiate the recovery stage (don't lead w/ your elbows) and have your body rotation bring the arm around and into the water.

same kick drill above, but practice pushing your buoy to cause your legs/hips to rise. Play with it until you feel like you are floating weightlessly. Not too little push so your hips sink, but not too much causing your butt to pop out of the water.

kick on side, arms at side. Bring bottom arm up to catch position. Catch and rotate. (both arms back at side, you are kicking on opposite side). Bring arm (under water arm) up to catch position. Catch and rotate. All the way down the pool. Don't PULL w/ your catch arm. CATCH the water and ROTATE.. thus causing your body to move forward over your arm which naturaly flows under your body.

That's all I can remember.

Essentially... BALANCE is key. In the first half of practice Jon was able to take me from a wiggly mess to a nice flowing non wiggling gliding swimmer (I 'rolled', er, rotated. Get it?). I WISH I had had my camera with me to take more video. And I wish he was going to be back!!! I felt like I was getting a lot of what our other coach Rich had been trying to explain. Isn't it interesting how you have to hear the same thing over and over again in different ways before it all finally comes together. (Perhaps this explains a lot about my dad's approach. He is always saying the same thing over and over in a different ways. Could it be that he KNOWS this little thing about people needing to hear things in this manner before we get it. Nah.. I think it's just one of his quirky annoying habits... mom? Thoughts? Dad? Thoughts? You are going to claim that you knew this... at least about me!)

I feel like I didn't do a good job of describing everything we did. I looked for videos briefly, but kids, I'm FRIED. And here we are again midnight and I'm STILL not in bed. Thank god Tom is home tomorrow and I can go back to going to bed at 9:30pm on the dot! Makes for much more pleasurable mornings for all.

Night night!

PS. Only TWO more days until I know about Trakkers!!!! The suspense is just killing me!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Recovery Week...

While this recovery week has hit at a good time regarding scheduling (read: finding someone to watch the spawn) it's come at a bad time for my mood. I'm like a caged animal right now... caged w/ two wild crazy 4yo spawn that I'd like to eat just so I don't have to listen to the general craziness! ha ha (before you get your panties in a bunch I clearly love my spawn and would NEVER eat them.)

I KNOW the recovery stuff is part of the deal (and is highly beneficial), but I've always been outright TERRIBLE at recovery be it a single workout or a full on week. I always push too hard in the workouts and usually 'feel good' so I throw an extra workout in. This coached thing is going to really going to MAKE me do this and HELP ME to see the true benefits of it.

Now if I could get these kids to take a recovery week! DAMN!

One of the reasons that I exercise is to burn off tension, bring me down a few notches and help me cope with the craziness of kids. The sheer volume of it has already made me want to put on my shoes and RUN AWAY about 50 times and it's ONLY 9:30 in the a.m. Thank GOD Coach let me swim today! Mama needs a good workout. Time with my head underwater sounds about right!

I dropped my gym membership to move those funds over to coaching... well, the reality has already hit that that means running outside 100% of the time through the winter. Hmm. Northeast winter, curvy roads, snow plows... doesn't matter how much bright/reflective wear I wear I'm libel to get mowed over by a snow plow if there is fresh snow.

I have been spin certified for years now and never used it ... basically because I'm a huge chicken shit. I used to get up and talk in front of hundreds of people (in a past life) and while it was nerve wracking I did it, but I feel paralyzed to get on a spin bike in front of say 25 people. What's with that? My main problem isn't the workout.. I know I can make people work / sweat and generally suffer. It's the damn music. Putting it to music! UGH! Music people like. I had the exact same playlist on my ipod for OVER TWO YEARS!! TWO!! Over and over again I listened to the same music and it didn't bother me a bit. Also.. most of my music is explicit. CRAP! Anyway... 2011 is the year of awesomeness right? Time to get over this BS! And what a perfect time. I need a treadmill... don't want to pay for it... let's do this thing. So I start teaching spinning in a couple of weeks. I did a practice spin for my 50 min class last night. Worked up a good sweat, but my music ended at 34 mins. I've got a lot of work to do to get some playlists and profiles together. Hmm.. think I could just play music and wing it? So put a little prayer out there that I don't freeze up and that my music somewhat goes with my profiles.... oh and that the class members are merciful as I work out the kinks! Everyone starts somewhere right. Come on this isn't rocket science people! :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Another great swim drill video

Tides are changing. I practically begged coach to let me swim a third day this week. I'm in a recovery week right now (these make me really twitchy.. I have to work hard to not workout.. craziness). I looked at the schedule and was shocked to see that I wasn't supposed to swim on Sunday. I emailed coach to MAKE sure it wasn't a typo or something. He said NO SWIMMING. Okay, back to the schedule. Wait!! I'm supposed to swim on Monday early and I can't so can I swim on Sunday instead?? Coach, FINE! Swim. YIPPEE! (Hmm.. I guess the point of PAYING a coach is to listen to him not BULLY him into doing what you WANT to do!? oh well... I get to swim. Notice get to not HAVE to.. my language is changing. Never EVER thought this would happen)

I had a GREAT swim session last night. I FINALLY felt what it's supposed to feel like to do rotation properly. I felt the stroke all the way down my arm and then down my side. NOT in my shoulders. It was awesome and I was definitely faster. (I was sharing a lane w/ one of the sharks. He's injured so he's slower than normal, but I kept up with him while he was lame (for a little while)... it's a start).

We did a couple of sets then hit the catch up drill w/ the stick. 50 drill / 50 swim. While this drill isn't my favorite this is the second time I've felt that it's really given me a good sense of what a stroke is supposed to feel like. (Mind you this time I'm also spending a great deal of time thinking about my kick and head position.)

We do the drill with the stick parallel to the bottom of the pool.

I'm feeling really good about all the time I'm spending in the pool and feel like I'm right on the verge of it all clicking and coming together (hence my desire to keep hitting the pool... and slight fear that if I don't it will all fall apart again.)

Our main set after the catch up drill was 2x400 (75 free, 50 back, 50 free, 75 breast, 150 swim) I NAILED that first 400. This is the VERY FIRST time I feel like I can say that I nailed a swim workout. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone!!! I'm so excited. I've always struggled with being able to really push myself into the HURT LOCKER in the pool. I'm glad to have gotten there. I was wipedout after that and couldn't get there the second 400. I did pushed myself, but couldn't quite get to where I was in the first set. Glorious swim workout!!!

Thanks to the sharks for giving me such good feedback and encouragement! You are playing a large part in things coming together for me and I truly appreciate it.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Too Legit to quit!

What can I say.. I wanna be one of the cool kids.

Jon over at SwimCycloRun recently posted about getting his own domain. He was inspired by Megan at The Daily Sweat (she just got a new job in my favorite city in the whole world. Go congratulate her.) How sweet is that? Totally makes you look all legit and stuff. Well I inquired with him as to how this works and what it entails. Well it was pretty simple... so I WANTED IN! It goes with my "2011 is the year of AWESOME" plan. I checked the availability of AUTHENTIC LIVING.. surprise surprise it was taken. So I went with my original idea of changing the name of the site and just went with my tagline. 

I can now be found at ... so if you follow me and want to continue w/ the google reader updates etc you might want to just click on that there "follow" button so as not to lose me. I'm not sure what will happen with any RSS feeds with this change, but I do know that if you keep the link to you will be rerouted to WMA.

So thanks Jon and Megan for the intel on switching to my own domain. I'm happy to be part of the cool club now.... see 2011.. I'm bringing the awesome already and it's not even 2011 yet!!!!

Hopefully everything will go seamlessly. If you have problems let me know!!!!

2011 is going to be the year of AWESOMENESS!!!

I'm putting it out there right now. You are on notice 2011 you are GOING TO BE THE YEAR OF AWESOMENESS!

Proof of this fact! Big things are planned. I've got myself a rockin' coach! I'm putting myself out there in ways I've always wanted to, but never gone through with! Things like.. the coach, the GREEN, and now I'm working on re-certifying for Spinning and am GOING to USE it (need something to pay for the awesomeness), I'm going for the BQ, putting my hat in the lottery for NYC and am stepping up my triathlon distance! I'm also working on building this blog into something more than just a 'journal' of sorts.  As I've alluded to before there is some other 2011 awesomeness in the plans too, but I'm not at liberty to discuss them here right now. It'll all come out some day...

I'm amped and excited about this. I've struggled for most of my adult life with the "what am I going to do with myself?" question. I've been painfully paralyzed by it. I'm not sure what happened, but I feel like I'm breaking free of it in a big way. I've always been ALL OVER the place with my interest and have really lacked focus, but the one constant has ALWAYS been the training/exercising. Granted it has come and gone, but over the last 4 years it has always been there. So I'm going with it. I'm not ready to really work per se. I am committed to the two little munchkins and being there for them in these years, but once school starts full time I want to hit the ground running with whatever it is I finally settle on. Part of the planning for that is doing the things above to either get them out of my system or ingrain them in my life to carry them on in different (read paid) ways as my time opens up. Word on the street is that kindergarten might be full time next year! Holding my breath and wishing hard on that one. Would certainly contribute to the second half of the year of AWESOMENESS!

I'm excited to take you all along with me for the support, motivation and inspiration. You all really do make me want to step up the game and live this life to it's fullest! Let's do this thing!

What awesomeness are you bringing into your life in 2011?

Friday, November 05, 2010


WARNING: If you read this blog only for my trials and tribulations as a triathlete/endurance athlete you can safely skip this post!!! Namely the first part w/ the photos. It's about to get personal up in here!

So it's weird.. I have a lot of "anniversaries" in the last quarter of the year.

last week we celebrated (using that term VERY loosely) our 1 year anniversary of leaving Madison and moving to CT.

This week we celebrate (again loose use of the word) our FIVE year anniversary of leaving Seattle.

Our wedding anniversary - 7 years - is at the end of this month.... (I don't have any wedding photos on my computer.... 7 years is a long time in the world of technology.)

                               We have a similar photo of our kids in this stage. Freaky huh?

AND I was just cleaning out some things (more on that later) and came across some old paperwork. There are a lot of new people here and I'm quite sure you haven't gone back to read my OLD OLD blog posts, but we did IVF to get pregnant (and if you care to know WHY) and I just dug up our paperwork ... Oct 18th I went into the hospital to have two tiny embryos place inside me! On Oct 28th (FIVE years ago) I found out I was pregnant! WOW! Looking over the paperwork with the words Blastocyst and embryos written all over them I feel a strange disconnection from it. When we decided to do IVF I always wondered if we would tell any resulting children how they were brought into this world. That question is still unanswered, but I rarely think about it. Now that I'm on 'the other side' I don't even feel like we went through all of that.. and believe me WE DID! It was a long hard road to get where we are, but it's like it was all erased from my memory when Jason and Lily joined our family. If you know anyone going through this infertility business. Give them a big hug, an ear and a shoulder. That's really all the need. Well, not all, but you get it.

I am working on simplifying some things.. all things.. in preparation for a big training year. Part of that is cleaning things out and letting go of the 'unnecessary' things (which lead me to purge the aforementioned paperwork) and streamlining our finances (aka squeezing out any extra cash I can to support my crazy triathlon habit). I can't remember where I found it, but I stumbled upon Zen Habits. I am really loving this site. It's got all kinds of info about creating your 'zen'.. from ridding yourself of extra stuff (aka baggage) to simplifying your finances. I'm just gobbling up this site (and a lot of time.. not so zen or simplified, but we'll get there).

Are you in need of some simplifying and cleaning out of things? What do you do to keep it simple stupid? I'm excited to get rid of the unnecessary stuff to allow more room for the good stuff, brain space for more creativity and less of that bogged down feeling from all the 'stuff' I've got to manage.

PS. Hot tip from a friend of mine. If you donate stuff to Goodwill they have a brochure that helps you give value to the things you donate. This brochure gives way more value to things than I had given in the past. If you itemize on your taxes this is very cool. You have to list every item, but it might be worth the extra work.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Balancing the lifestyle...

As I was trying to fall asleep last night I thought about Trimommy's post about Visualization and how she uses it before race day and it works so she should try using it in the realm of parenthood. (how's that working trimommy?)... as I lay there I was also thinking about what was on deck for my workouts for the next day. I always do this.

I'm not sure about all the other moms of young kids out there, but one of my main struggles in motherhood is REALLY connecting with my kids on a daily basis. YES, it's true. I spend almost EVERY waking moment with my kids and it's not uncommon for me to go to bed at night and not be able to think of one moment in the day where I really stopped the chaos and madness of motherhood/house caring to connect with my children as opposed to just responding to their needs and shuffling them around for school and errands. And this is not a new problem...

I've tried a number of times to figure out how to fix this problem. To be more scheduled about our day... but really it's not my style. So then I was thinking... okay every day I have at least one (sometimes two) workouts planned each day. I am non-negotiable about this and it gets done every day.. barring any unforeseen circumstances ... normally related to the aforementioned spawn. So why not do the same thing for the kids and I. I could plan an activity or something for every day that is 'non-negotiable'. It doesn't need to be elaborate because frankly they just don't care they just want my undivided attention. And really is that too much to ask of your mother!? It could be reading books or coloring.. and I mean coloring as in me coloring too not them coloring while I'm on the computer!

So today's activity is going to be a hike w/ Leo dog, then a trip to the library to return the Halloween books and movies (and pay for the movie that Jason broke before we even got to watch it.. ugh) in exchange for some Thanksgiving stuff. That's as far as I've gotten right now.

Another area that I'm struggling with is the 2011 goals and image board. I'm all set in the world of endurance sports, but struggle with adding things around the family goals. There's just ONE big one... other than that I'm stumped. What's wrong with me? Clearly the undivided attention goal is a good one, but other than that??? I guess this is one reason why I love triathlon... it gives me a schedule and goals. Mostly I feel like there is a schedule to get the training done and the rest just happens. I know I need to make it so that the rest has purpose and intention as well, but I get so overwhelmed with it.

How do you do this ladies/gents? How do you make sure to spend that quality time with your kids? I feel absolutely ridiculous asking this question, but I know I can't be alone in this. I never thought that as a stay at home mom this would be an issue, but it's easy to get distracted by all the mundane things that 'need' to get done to run a household.. and frankly playing trains bores me! :)

Monday, November 01, 2010

My swim feedback...

I sent the link to my SWIM VIDEO to coach John (tri coach) and coach Rich (masters swim coach) and got similar advice from both.

1. Press the chest/swim down hill
2. Head neutral / make small movement to take a breath
3. Catch: square the elbows (do finger tip / high elbow drill and catch up drill)
4. Drive from the hips
5. Kick in the bucket

I wrote the 5 things above on a note card I can put in a baggie and take to the pull with me to remind myself of the things I need to work on.

Here is a video I found helpful... how it should be done! The catch.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Swim video.. you be the judge.

Okay FIRST ignore the sweet swimmers mullet I'm rockin'. Geez. Why didn't anyone tell me my hair was hanging out? That's like not telling someone they've got a snot snake hanging out of their nose! I'll address that with my swim peeps.

Here's some quick video of my stroke.
(Edited to say: Oops. Loaded the wrong video. I'll leave it here in case you guys want to see what a goof ball my kid is and learn about Darth.. Vador)

The first things I notice are:
1. What the hell am I looking at? My feet? My head is BURIED in the water.
2. (as coach mentions) my feet. You would think I would have noticed that since I'm clearly watching them.
3. Do I catch early enough. Geez. I told you I had no glide.

I'm glad I took this video. For starters I think my stroke looks a lot better than I thought it did and now I can see for myself the things I am reminded about over and over again and I can take follow up video later to see my progress.

This was my first week swimming three times a week and, dare say, I liked it. It had felt like the Thursday to Tuesday break was too long to go without swimming. There were only 4 of us today and I was able to complete almost the entire workout with the 'sharks'.. no slow lane today. I was only 100 short. Woo hoo!

So here I open up the comments. Give me some feedback folks! What do I need to work on? :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ironman Access my 2 cents

Would I be remiss as a triathlete if I did not comment on this?

The WTC (as you ALL already know) dropped the IRONMAN Access program this week only to rescind a few days later in response to the SOCIAL media BLOWING up over it. It's been so interesting to hear all the remarks. Thusfar I've only found one or two that did not totally trash WTC and IM for being greedy money grubbers.

No one fessed up to purchasing this $1k gem.. though people did because it was stated that it was FULL only days later. Of course FULL has not been qualified as it was never announced how many slots were available. And who knows if that wasn't announced just to 'stop the presses' while they made their little video about rescinding.

I'd love to give the WTC the benefit of the doubt ... thinking that they really did have the athletes in mind, but it is a hard pill to swallow. I think they made a good move in rescinding in response to all the negative comments. And I really don't think it was 'too late'. They made a blunder.. yes. People were pissed.. yes. Does Ironman (the brand) still stand for a HUGE thing in people's minds.. yes. Ironman is representative of the 140.6... I think it will take a long time for people to truly get past that. Not to mention the whole qualifying for Kona thing.. the triathlon of all triathlons.

I think David of Chicago Now makes some interesting statements about the whole thing. While I don't agree that people "thumbed their noses at the other race directors and let them know, "you are an after thought Rev3 or Silverman, a cute diversion after we do the Ironman."" I do believe that people have/had a certain respect for the long standing Ironman brand and are sad to see that tarnished by the goal of being a mega money maker instead of a dream creator and are a little afraid that they won't be able to get to the race they want .. so they can get to the THE RACE they WANT.. Kona. Many people get into this sport after seeing KONA on TV. So there's SERIOUS brand awareness.

I do think that a lot of Ironman money is now going to go to the non-IM races such as REV3 , the Great Floridian and Silverman... for a lot of reasons. It creates variety. These races bring a different feel to them. REV3 is growing like wildfire.. who knows what they are going to have to offer their athletes over the years. People are starting to believe and realize that it does not matter whether your 140.6 was branded IM.. it's STILL 140.6! It's STILL a huge accomplishment.. YOUR accomplishment.

I love Run Faster Mommy's open letter to the WTC. It says so much about where Triathlon is going. People are seeing the accomplishment not the brand. Things are changing. It's going to take a while, but they are.

You've got to check out the sweet video at Swim Bike Live. HYSTERICAL!

What do you think? Did the WTC just shoot itself in the foot and we are going to just watch them bleed out or are they redeemed?

Now get off the computer and stop obsessing over the BS and get your work out in folks. It might be the off-season, but there is still work to be done!

Veggie Korma

I'm no longer vegan/vegetarian, but I still eat a high fruit/veggie diet and am in the process of finding a core group of recipes to pull from each week when I plan our meals. So as I try new stuff and approve it for the list I will share them with you. This is a nice hearty meal to fuel a lot of work. You could add meat if you want, but I don't feel it's necessary. You could also serve it with Quinoa instead of rice.

Vegetarian Korma
Serves 4


* 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 small onion, diced
* 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 potatoes, cubed
* 4 carrots, cubed
* 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
* 3 tablespoons ground unsalted cashews
* 1 (4 ounce) can tomato sauce
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
* 1 cup frozen green peas
* 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
* 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
* 1 can (approx 2c) Coconut Milk
* 1 bunch fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until tender. Mix in ginger and garlic, and continue cooking 1 minute. Mix potatoes, carrots, jalapeno, cashews, and tomato sauce. Season with salt and curry powder. Cook and stir 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  2. Stir peas, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and cream into the skillet. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro to serve.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Here is another post to provide you with some triathlon inspiration.

Kathleen Calkins ran her first race (an ironman) as a pro at Rev3 Cedar Point at the age of 35. YES 35! How awesome is that!? AND she took 3rd!

I'm still struggling a bit w/ this whole getting older thing. Ever since spending time at the care center (aka old folks home) with my grandmother I feel hyper aware of my age and the future. It's so great to see an athlete taking it to the next level at a stage of life that many feel their best years are behind them. Clearly not for Kathleen!!! :)

Read her race report HERE. And you can check out video coverage of her during the race below.

Kathleen Calkins Highlights - REV3:Cedar Point 2010 from REVOLUTION3 Triathlon on Vimeo.

It just so happens that she is a member of Team Trakkers. I really didn't know that when I first discovered her.

Kathleen started her triathlon career way back in 2001 at a local sprint race. She had gone down to watch her husband participate in the swim portion of a relay and they both went out the next day to purchase bikes and never looked back. How many of us have gotten into the sport in much the same way?

She rocked that tri of course and continued to compete in both sprint and olympic before moving up to the 70.3 a few years later and then Ironman. Would you believe she went to Kona and had a rough time only to find out FIVE DAYS later she was pregnant. So baby went to Kona with Mama.. thus starting a long partnership. He continued to accompany her on runs after he was born. Apparently anything UNDER 18 miles. I have pushed my fair share of joggers in my life, but I think I maxed out at 6 miles. (well I did and so did the kids) That's amazing to push a stroller that long. She says it made her stronger.. no doubt!

Age grouper Kathleen Calkins broke the overall female age group record in Kona, Hawaii with her 9:46:27 finish at the 2009 Ford Ironman World Championships. With that great time she also managed to be the 12th overall female.

In 2009 Kathleen broke the overall female age group record at the Ford Ironman World Championships in Kona with a time of 9:46:27!!! AND finished 12th overall female.

So 2010 was her first year as a pro and she is rockin and rollin! I love this sport! I love the inspiration you get from this sport. I love how REAL the people are in this sport!

Who's your favorite triathlete? Keep an eye on this lady!


Yes you read that right! I will be doing the Austin MARATHON! The FULL!

Some of you might remember MY POST about whether or not to do the full marathon in February and shoot for the BQ...

Some of the responses to that question were:

EMZ: BQ Baby

Melanie: All depends on where your heart is. If you miss Maratahon training and can give it your all then go for a BQ, if not, focus your attention and heart on what is currenlty peaking your interest.

AM-Goals for the Week: I'm probably buzzkill over here..but work your way up and be STOKED with the progress along the way!!

Kovas Palubinskas
: I'd train for the tris and if the BQ happens, it happens.

Velma: You can answer this question - you know what you want to do :)

Thank you all so much for your feedback. As I thought about it I was really feeling like I wanted to give it another shot. I was really thinking a lot about running long and wanting to be out there. I had at one point decided I was definitely doing the marathon.

Then on the day I was supposed to have my first talk with John (I need to come up with a better / cooler name for John... is there a nick name I'm missing? Something about a shovel.) I went out for a run and convinced myself that I wanted to get faster faster faster and didn't think that marathon training was conducive to that and that I was worried about taking time off to recover from a marathon before starting in on triathlon. So I told John.. nah, screw Boston for now.

Hmm.. he had other ideas. He proceeded to tell me that he thought the marathon was in a great spot because it kept me running (and working on my base which is all part of the plan), kept me motivated over winter and kind of FORCED me to take a needed break before breaking into hard core triathlon training.

He then said that I could just train for the marathon and run that half. WHAT!? Put all those miles in and prepare for a marathon then NOT RUN THE MARATHON! Leave the opportunity for a BQ on the table. That is not how I roll.

So thanks Coach!!! This is why I hired someone who is all knowledgeable and stuff! So I swim now for 6 weeks... The SWIM Cycle. Then at the end of that 6 weeks we start ramping up the running. Take a little break post Marathon and then bring it all together for a rockin' tri season!!!

Coaching is awesome already! How has your coach guided and directed you in directions you may not have gone had you not had a coach?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Would you like a side of swimming with your swimming?

I had an awesome talk with MY coach. Yes, it makes me feel special to say that! :) We talked about my need to swim swim swim... I got my first 6 week cycle... The "SWIM Cycle" this weekend. Damn it's hard to coordinate swimming. :) Running.. no problemo strap on some shoes put on a good sports bra (well, and a few other non-essential items.. unless it's uber cold then they become essential) and you are out the door. Swimming.. not so much. I was really hopeful that I would find that with my program membership at the Y I would be able to hit the pool during open swim. Uh, not so much. PROGRAM means ONLY program lady. You might think you are SPECIAL because you got a coach and what not, but here at the Y you are JUST a PROGRAM member. Blasted! Not wanting to pony up for the full membership for that extra 45 mins of swimming right now.

So @j_hirsch has me all ready to do Masters 3 days a week (I'm currently doing two) at 90 mins a session and then one day at 45 mins a session. Awesome. I can do that.. except that I HAVE to go to masters to get in the pool and EACH session is 90 mins and the schedule is such that to get 4 days in I have to do three of them BACK TO BACK TO BACK. Will three days straight of swimming for 90 mins blow me up? (FYI my shoulders are feeling better, but I haven't swam (or is it swum?) since Thursday). Tuesday is a non-coached session (and would be day three of three in a row) so I could do that as my 45 mins drill focused session and just get out of the water when I'm done.

Wow this is off/early season and I'm already having trouble figuring it out! Not being one to shy away from a challenge I'm sure I'll get it worked out. This week I add ONE day .. Sunday. Then in a couple of weeks I'll tackle the three days in a row challenge.

I get to run and spin too so that's all well and good.

Do you find it difficult to coordinate swims? Do you swim three days a week w/o ill effects? Six weeks.. I can swim three days in a row for a measly six weeks right? Which I guess would really just be 4 or 5 weeks. Do what ya gotta do.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Coaching by John Hirsch

So I posed the question and got lots of answers.. and took the plunge myself!

I am now own board as one of the CREW with John Hirsch. I'm SO excited!

I had some great email conversations with him, but today's phone call was AWESOME! His energy is great and his philosophy's make sense!!!! First up swim swim swim like a fish.. or until I swim like a fish. I really should have seen that coming. Then we'll up up up the running as I run my way to the Austin Marathon on 2/20/11.

Then a little mini break and we start TEARING into tri season. That is still a bit up in the air. We have a plan but the GREEN thing is to be determined. Once I know which way that is going we can get the plan together. Thankfully we've got some time!

I am beyond excited. I'm excited to see what this body/mind can do and to see what it does w/ a coach to guide me instead of just some piece of paper holding all my dreams!

Let's go COACH take me to the finish line(s).

Top 10 reasons why athletes should eat QUINOA!

Have you heard of Quinoa!?

It's an ancient Peruvian Seed with a mild nutty flavor, high protein content and loads and loads of Good stuff like all the essential amino acids and lots of minerals.

Here are the nutrition facts:

And check out THIS link for more info than you could ever handle about any food you could ever consider eating. Awesome site!

Top 10 reasons why YOU - the athlete - should eat this grain!

1. Essential Amino Acids - it contains all the essential amino acids and is high in LYSINE - which is important for tissue growth and repair.
2. Magnesium - it is high in magnesium which relaxes blood vessels and prevents constriction and dilation - bringing that oxygenated blood to all your muscles
3. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) - it has lots of of B2 which produces energy with in the cells and has been shown to improve energy metabolism within the brain and muscle cells
4. Manganese and copper - yep lots of this too! These mineral are co-factors for the super oxide dismutase which helps protect cells from damage from free radicals (we make lots of those w/ all this crazy exercise business.)
5. It's Gluten Free!! I know there are a lot of us out here with the gluten problem. And even if you don't have a gluten problem it does tend to cause inflammation in those of us without a gluten problem. So if you can decrease gluten.. a good thing!
6. Rich source of dietary fiber! We all know why that's important so I'll spare you the details. If you don't know why that's important give a shout out and I'll give you the 411.
7. High in Omega 3s - They are necessary for human health but the body can' t make them. Nuff said.
8. High in complex carbs. As athletes - particular the endurance variety - we are always looking for good complex carbs to refuel the lost glycogen. Carbo load anyone? How about some Quinoa instead of gluteny lacking in nutrients PASTA!
9. Low in fat. It contains healthy fats, but not too much. So feel free to add olive oil and/or some almonds to your dishes.
10. It's SUPER easy to prepare and can be used in lots of ways.

So how do you add these little nutty nuggets of nutrition to your diet. Well you can use them as a replacement for rice. You can add them to soups and stews. I like to put them in my salad. You could even toss them in your smoothie (cook them first). There are a pluthera of Quinoa salad recipes on the net. I'll add some that I enjoy at a later date.

I like to make them into a porridge for breakfast or post work out.

I rinse then soak my Quinoa overnight before I cook it. It makes it a bit easier to digest and it comes out nice and fluffy every time.

Basic Quinoa Recipe

* 1 cup quinoa
* 1 1/2 cups cold water
* Optional: 1/2 tsp salt

Quinoa Cooking Directions:

1. Rinse: Stir the quinoa with your hand, and carefully pour off the rinsing water,
using a fine mesh strainer at the last
2. Drain quinoa well in the strainer, transfer to the cooking pot, add 1 1/2 cups
water & 1/2 tsp salt if desired
3. Bring to a boil, cover with a tight fitting lid, and turn the heat down to simmer
4. Cook for 15 minutes
5. Remove quinoa from heat and allow to sit five minutes with the lid on
6. Fluff quinoa gently with a fork and serve

Quinoa Porridge
You can start with the recipe above or use quinoa that is stored in the fridge.
1. blend 1/2 to 1c of cooked Quinoa with milk of your choice to consistency of your liking. (I use nut milk)
2. Place in pan to warm.
3. Add your 'sides'. I like cinnamon, maple syrup and raisins.
4. Remove from heat throw in bowl and enjoy.

Optional toppings:
another splash of milk/cream
ground flax seeds
Wheat Germ
Chia Seeds
Nut butter

Have you had Qunioa before? How do you like to eat it? Have you tried it for breakfast before?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rethinking that cup of Joe

Again, Really. Yes, I'm still trying to get my mind in the right spot. Well, I guess my mind is there gotta get my heart to follow. I've already covered my LOVE of coffee so I won't revisit here.

The real irony of this is that I am sitting in a COFFEE SHOP while I write this.

Before I dive into this I want to say that caffeine affects people differently. For example: it's stated by "THEM" (you know the proverbial THEY) that someone that is high strung by nature will likely become anxious with caffeine consumption (and the amount of that consumption is highly personal) while someone who is normally quite calm won't be affected at all. Let me tell you folks this is TRUE! My husband is so SO chill that I sometimes have to check him for a pulse. He could drink a pot of coffee and be totally normal (no anxiety) and sail off to sleep at night with zero problems. I, on the other hand, fall in the high strung category and a pot of coffee would make me a batshit crazy raging witch (there's a rule.. only one swear word per sentence) and keep me up all night. (My own personal highly scientific research.. brought to you for free. You're welcome.)

My point being (yes there is one) is that you need to pay attention to your own personal response. And if you are the type that can enjoy as much coffee as you want and continue to be normal well... :P (that's me sticking my tongue out at you)

Physiologically caffeine stimulates the central nervous system by blocking adenosine which is the neurotransmitter that causes a calming effect. This in turn causes the adrenal glands to release adrenaline - the fight or flight hormone. The heart rate increases, pupils dilate, muscles tighten and glucose is released into the blood stream. Caffeine also increases dopamine which activates the pleasure part of the brain. That explains a lot. I did say I LOVE me some coffee!!!!

The upside of all of this is that this can potentially make you more alert and productive in the short term. Athletically it's been shown to extend endurance when taken prior to moderately strenuous activity. Though it's been more productive in the form of capsules than it has in the form of my beloved coffee.

The downside is that it stimulates the central nervous system and can cause restlessness, headaches and irritability (hmm I definitely suffer this side effect), elevates heart rate and blood pressure and it requires your pancreas to over-work. A later effect can be excessive and chronic tiredness, even on waking in the morning.

Essentially if you drink coffee throughout the day it is constantly wreaking havoc on your hormones and stimulating your central nervous system. NO BUENO!

And man this stuff stays in your body! It's half life is about 6 hours. If you have a nice big 300mg caffeine cup of coffee at 4pm your body breaks it down to 100 mg by 10pm and 50mg by 4am. So you still have some caffeine in your system when you wake up THE NEXT DAY!!!! And this has been the time your body is supposed to be repairing itself not breaking down caffeine and having a chat with your central nervous system to JUST CHILL already!

For reference here are some breakdowns:
Starbucks Grande Coffee (16 oz) 330 (almost 2x the amt in 'other' coffee)
Coffee, Drip 115-175
Starbucks Grande Latte (16 oz) 150
Coffee, Brewed 80-135
Coffee, Espresso (2 ounces) 100
Coffee, Instant 65-100
Tea, iced 47
Tea, brewed, imported (avg.) 60
Tea, brewed, U.S. brands (avg.) 40
Tea, green 15
Hot cocoa 14
Starbucks Grande Decaf Latte (16 oz) 13
Coffee, Decaf, brewed 3-4

"They" say that generally 2 cups a day is 'ok'. Like I said it effects people differently. Caffeine at varying doses, depending on person, can prevent clear thinking, cause nervousness, sweating, tenseness, upset stomach, anxiety and insomnia. Sounds GOOD to me!

So you wanna quit now? Well, coffee (caffeine) is ADDICTIVE. In case you hadn't noticed. 18 - 24 hours post QUIT time you may have a headache, feel fatigued, irritable (hmm just like when you were drinking coffee so that's nothing new), depressed and unable to concentrate. These feelings should peak in about 24 to 48 hours and should decrease over the course of a week. Reduce your intake slowly instead of quitting cold turkey. It's also been reported that high doses of Vitamin C can help with these symptoms. (I do this.)

For those that are dying to know how my battle with the demon is going I would say well. I'm down to 1.5 cups (of half caff) now.. from 3 to 4. And I gotta say I'm feeling better. I've suffered with fatigue in the past and I should know better than to dance with the demon. I am not delusional enough to think I will 100% abstain from coffee because I do love and enjoy it, but I won't make a daily habit of it... not permanently anyway. It's better for my kids, my work outs... My dear sweet husband and anyone else that comes in contact with me really!

So what about you? Are you a full on addict? Does your coffee/caffeine (cause it's in lots of stuff) affect you in any of the ways mentioned above?

Up next Sugar. YES you can go ahead and call me the FUN KILLER.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rev3 Triathlon is going to my alma mater!

Well Team Trakkers HAS to accept me now! Rev3 is going to my alma mater!

Rev3 will be hosting both an olympic and a half iron distance trialthon on October 8th and 9th, 2011 in Anderson, SC. This is just a few miles down the road from Clemson University where I went a million and one years ago!!! I worked at a sweet wings place in Anderson for a year or so! I haven't been back since around 2001 or so. It would be a treat to venture down for a 'reunion' and jump in Lake Hartwell for old times sake!

Come on Trakkers... you can't say no to that!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Are you coached?

Please take the POLL ==============>>>>>>

Are you a coached or self coached athlete?

If you've got a coach give them some link love in the comments!

Fall Goodness!

Fall his hit hard here! Everything is blazing and beautiful. The wind is brisk and whipping leaves all around!

It makes me want to run and eat root veggies.. oh and coffee. Dang it! (I'm down to two cups a day and am currently working through a nice caffeine withdrawal headache, but can already tell my mood is improved).

Anyway back to the fall goodness.

I recently stumbled onto some cool cooking blogs and, of course, they are all about the fall and pumpkin too! Hubs deserved a treat so I whipped up some Peas and Thank You Pumpkin Scones!!! YUM!

FYI. coffee is for him. Yes, baked fresh out of the oven w/ a coffee made at home delivered to his office by me! Lucky guy, eh?

These only needed a measly 1/2 c of pumpkin so I had a bunch left over. I decided to go ahead and use it up by making some Pumpkin Butter (hoping my kids will eat it, but alas they are not fans of it).

We got some squash in our last CSA - I LOVE roasted squash and LOVE squash soup (Roasted, blended squash) so I found a decent looking Roasted Squash Soup recipe on Allrecipes. I made it without the cream because I don't do dairy. It is DELICIOUS!!! I can't wait to tear into it for dinner.

And on a side note I LOVE coconut oil, but it is rather spendy. I found THIS post recently about MAKING YOUR OWN COCONUT OIL! Wow! AWESOMENESS! It's not as creamy and good as the real deal, but it's a fraction of the cost. Just buy a bag of shredded (full fat organic) coconut and put it in the food processor! I might try putting it in the vitamix after the FP next time to see if I can get it NICE AND SMOOTH! I like to mix the coconut butter with cocoa/carob powder a bit of salt and some raisins and put it in the freezer... single serving sugar free chocolate-ish dessert to satisfy my craving without the sugar!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

New training partners.

Today's long run was interesting. I ran with a woman I had never previously met. I met her husband at Masters swim. We spend most of our time with our heads in the water and/or talking about swimming, but on my way out of the parking lot I stopped and chatted with him. He was telling me about his wife's training for the New York Marathon. She had her big 20 miler this weekend and was trying to figure out where to run it that wasn't too freakishly hilly. I told him 1. I'm not sure that kind of (flat) terrain exists around here and 2. to give her my email address and tell her that I'll run with her. Not the full 20, but whatever I can manage depending on the pace.

As I thought about it more I thought that running your LONG run with a complete stranger might not be all that appealing so I wasn't sure I would hear from her, but I did and we coordinated to run loops around Lake Waramaug. I had never been there so I thought it would be a nice change and doing loops would allow me to hang with her longer.

She told me she wanted to run a 9min pace. A-okay. And off we went. As we were warming up (at 8:45 min/mile) I asked her what her plan was.. she said she needed to do 4 x 3miles at 9min pace after a warm up. Uh, we're going faster than your 'pace' times in warm up. Perhaps we should slow down. We played this game the entire 15 miles I ran with her.

It was great running a new place and with someone. I would have otherwise run by myself. It was also an interesting perspective. This is her first marathon, this was her first 20 miler. In the past (prior to her marathon training) she had laced up randomly and would just go run 16 miles for the heck of it. She would just run whenever and however far she wanted. I found this to be interesting. Prior to my training there is NO way I would have knocked out 16 miles. (it actually ended up being 17 because she got home at 16.5 and figured she may as well round up)

She was a trooper! We held an 8:40 pace the entire time and she was feeling great! The running community is so awesome. We were able to come together with this one thing in common and share our morning all because we are runners. It was great to be able to support her and to have support for my run!

When was the last time you ran with someone new? How did it go? It was so easy to run with this woman. We weren't nervous about pace or anything. We just enjoyed the nice fall morning!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

This is so fun!

Hello, welcome and Thanks to all my new followers. Love seeing my 'brady bunch' block growing!!!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Time to give up the hard core stregth training?

Shoulder pain mystery solved?

I think I finally put two and two together and figured out what is up w/ my anterior deltoids! I have been swimming for years and never had problems.. okay, to be fair, off and on for years. This past season I swam at most twice a week. Once in open water and once in the pool. Though it was usually just once a week. My first workout at masters swim was GULP 3100 yards or so. I finished it.. I couldn't believe it. The next workout was the same and they have hovered around 2500 yards since. I figured it was the mass amounts of yardage I added, but like I said this pain was new.

Well I'm also coming off almost a year of hitting the weight room pretty hard and I had started lifting pretty heavy and was enjoying seeing some growth and definition in my, um, shoulders. Well since I've been having this pain I've tried a couple of times to hit the weights again.. just lighter and not so intense. And wouldn't you know it... every time I do a weight session my anterior deltoids flair up again.

I'm familiar with both muscle soreness from use/lifting and muscle pain from injury. I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm currently injured, but I would say that my shoulders are putting up the red flags (or maybe white) to let me know they ain't happy and won't tolerate this BS much longer.

So while I do enjoy lifting and lifting heavy I have to go back to my goals for the year. Am I aiming to be all shredded up or am I aiming to be a better triathlete. TRIATHLETE is where I'm at so bye-bye P90X.

I'm now looking for a good program I can do that focuses more on core and hits overall body as well. Thinking pull ups (assisted of course... though I can do TWO by myself.. which will have to suffice for my 2010 goal of doing unassisted pull ups) and push ups.

I was also instructed by the swim coach to do some stretching. Both chest and shoulders. He picked out some things in my stroke that may or may not be contributing to my pain. Things like not reaching enough, not getting enough bend in my elbow for my pull and pulling too early.

And on a side note. I've also been instructed to sit on my feet. When doing kick drills I LITERALLY stop mid lap.. and I would swear I was starting to go backward, but have been promised this is not true. The coach watched my kick and said it wasn't 'too bad', but to try pointing my toes more. I promptly put my foot above water and showed him that this was ALL I GOT. He said, "hmm, you need to sit on your feet your ankles are really tight!" Yes, I have runner's ankles! ;)

So that's that. Hopefully with the stretching, laying off the weights and sleeping on my back (I'm getting there) I'll be good as new soon. In the meantime I just keep swimming.

Is stretching part of your program or do you neglect it like I do because life hits you smack in the face as soon as you walk in the door and it just gets "forgotten"?