Monday, June 28, 2010

Vegan or non-Vegan

As many of you know I spent a few years as a vegan... a raw vegan. And of late have been suffering w/ some 'issues'... fatigue and digestion related. It's kept me from racing for over a year now and I feel better, but I continue to struggle and try to figure it all out. I just stumbled upon Devon Crosby Helms' blog and particularly THIS post. I thought it was a great post and was so happy to hear that someone else had struggled with the mental aspects of changing your diet back from the vegan thing. As I've worked to add protein back into my diet I have stressed about everything that I put in my mouth. I really enjoyed this post and thought some of my other nutritionally minded folks might enjoy her site.

I tend to feel that nutrition is highly individual. While some may really thrive on a vegan diet others may not. I definitely agree w/ Devon's sentiments about the relationship w/ food being destroyed (for me personally) and not really staying in tune w/ your body as a result of stressing so much about what is (or isn't) going into your body. I distinctly remember feeling like I could eat a whole chicken during a vegan diet and ignoring my body's signals. My body was SCREAMING for protein and I ignored it. NOT GOOD!

Anyway.. I certainly don't have the answers... not for you and not entirely for myself, but I'm working on it!

In other news I registered for another sprint triathlon.... in a week and a half!!!! The Pat Griskus Sprint... it's hilly and I am sure the swim will be a challenge (when isn't it for me?) It's in the evening so I couldn't pass it up!

Was just cruising through her blog again and found THIS post that I also enjoyed.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I have posted links to Sonja's blog before and wanted to share this great post she wrote about Risk and Failure. It has given me much to think about and I thought you guys might enjoy it too! She is a rock star w/ great perspective and a humble attitude!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

In the sound again

Survived another open water swim in the Long Island Sound. Thank GOD it wasn't nearly as cold as it was last week. I wasn't really believing Nicole when she told me the water had actually been 'nice' earlier in the week.

As always humbled by the swim, but gained my confidence as the work out went on. After a nice warm up and some aerobic work we did some anaerobic stuff. We all gathered at a buoy then the coach said, "go!" and we were to race to the shore like we were exiting the water in a race... RUN out of the water to the lifeguard bench and do 5 push ups then run back into the water and sprint to the buoy like we were starting a race. We did this 5 times and it was my favorite (near death) part of the swim. (maybe it was bc it wasn't all swimming??). It got my ass in gear and got me fired up to be able to finish out the work out w/ a bit more strength in my stroke. I felt much more confident after that exercise. Maybe I can be a triathlete again. Maybe I can find the fire inside me.

I've been riding more now too and I LOVE the bike!! :) Thank God I met my friend Nicole! It feels good to have a goal and a schedule again. It definitely keeps the crazy in check! I'm the type of person that just has to work out... two work outs a day... even better! :) I'm now doing the P90X and the endurance together and my muscles are feeling it in a good way. Now that mom and dad are here it's going to be easier to be consistent w/ the endurance piece of that puzzle.

It's late and I'm worked over from back, biceps and ab ripper topped off w/ an open water swim. (back weights plus swimming might not be my best approach, but that's how you get stronger right)....

Now to sleep, and let's hope I sleep past 6am tomorrow. Who knew that taking my watch off and not putting it back on would make me get up earlier. I'm not sure what's up, but I can't go back to sleep after my initial wake up anymore. I used to wake up, look at my watch, think I'm not getting up THAT early, and roll over and go back to sleep and wait for the kids to wake me up. Now I wake up, look over, see Jason and Lily laying there, close my eyes, maybe doze a bit, then think, "I have no idea what time it is and if I lay here I might not get just a few moments of quiet w/ my coffee bc it might just be 7:30a and they might must wake up any minute.", then I get up put my contacts in etc and go downstairs to discover that DAMN it it's not quite 6am and I already have my contacts in.. no turning back now. So I just stay up. It IS really nice to have a nice quiet cup of coffee (or two... come on it's EARLY) or get a work out in before it's "GAME ON" time, but sheesh... I used to have to be blasted out of bed!

4 Years OLD!!!

I feel like I should be saying something along the lines of "Oh MY God my babies are 4 years old!!", but I feel like they should be four. Every other years birthday has seemed to sneak up on me w/ thoughts like above, but this year it feels due time for them to turn 4. Was this year longer than others? Not sure why I feel this way. I'm not sure if it was the trials and tribulations of THREE or if it is their level of development, but we are here and it feels about right.

I LOVE this photo of them running w/ the dog.

I really feel like I should have lots of things to say about this milestone, but I just don't. Birthdays have never been huge in my life.. They just are! We had a special breakfast date just the kids and me after some small gifts on their actual birthday, they celebrated at school and we got to do some shopping w/ some cash they received then the day after their birthday Papa and Grandma Mills rolled into town and we went swimming and to a special dinner to celebrate further. All good times. We will have a small party here at the house .. where Tom and I are going to have to pull a princess cake and a tank cake out of the ether. :) So we are definitely celebrating for them, but I'm not feeling deeply moved or emotional about the 4th birthday.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

First Open Water Swim ... in a LLLLOOONNNGGG time.

The crew that I swam w/ over the winter is now doing open water swimming down in Fairfield and I've become friends w/ one of the ladies that lives here in Bethel so she and I rolled down to Open Water Swim (OWS) with the Trifitness team. They (er, we) swim in the Long Island sound. A far cry from the weedy fresh water lakes of Wisconsin. Bonus: NO algae... BUT and it's a big BUT.. it's FING cold. At least it was last night.

When I got my wetsuit out I realized I hadn't been in it.. or open water... since August of 2008 when I raced Chicago with Team in Training. UGH!

I was surprised at myself for getting in the water so quickly. It was COLD. I mean freeze your hands/feet/face off cold. I am proud of myself for just swimming in it at all. We were given some things to focus on w/ stroke for our warm up and were told to swim back and forth between two buoys then to come in for more instruction. Most of us would swim a bit and bob a bit. Me bc that's the way I roll the rest bc it was so cold it took your breath away.

We did our warm up then rolled back to the shore for more instruction and were asked who was racing this weekend (trifitness sprint tri this sunday - I can't race bc Tom is out of town and my back up isn't in town till Wednesday). So all of those people were told we were going to do a mock race. I decided to just jump in w/ them. Swimming a half mile in frozen cold water just randomly proved to be a challenge for me, but I got it done and am proud of that. I still need to figure out how to find a groove and just swim w/o breaks. I KNOW I can do it, but I'm mentally challenged for some reason. I stop to get my barrings way to often. I will say that I was a bit dizzy/disoriented through most of it. I'm not sure if it was the open water/tide or the freezing coldness of it all. I haven't ever experienced it at all and was relieved when another woman asked if I was dizzy.

When we got out of the water our feet, hands and faces were bright red and numb. I couldn't even get my wetsuit un-velcroed or my jacket zipped. It took a good 30 mins before I could put my thumb and forefinger together to actually do anything.

All in all I felt like it was a success. I got there, I got in the fing cold water and I did what some people might call swimming! :)

I just registered for a triathlon The Houatonic Valley Tri.. wow been awhile since I did that. I plan to register for more, but haven't pulled the trigger yet. My friend Jill registered for this one and I wanted to be sure that I didn't miss it ... since I may have kind of encouraged her to join me. This will be her first ever and I'm pretty excited for her. The good news, for both of us, is that this race has a really short swim. Only 1/4 mile. I still have work to do and hopefully will be able to swim the whole thing w/o stopping.

This should help on that front:

I just joined the Brookfield YMCA and purchased a summer family pass for the pool. A FIFTY meter outdoor pool. I can swim in the early morning or evening and on the weekends... and there is a playground and picnic area for eating and playing fun for the kids. I think we'll be at the pool a lot considering how much the kids love the water and how hot and humid it gets here.

The kefir is going absolutely gang busters. I'm going to have to freeze some of the grains or just get rid of them b/c I have a gallon of kefir in the fridge right now and another half gallon ready to be strained and stored... it's doing well in the warmth that's for sure.

Here is a jar ready for straining and a jar ready for the fridge...

For those of you that might be curious here is what kefir grains look like.

I'm also made some saurkraut. It's super salty so I'll try a different recipe next time, but other than that it's pretty good. I mix it into stuff so the saltiness is diluted a bit.

And here is where all the magic happens. My fermentation station.

I'm also making kefir water, but don't have any photos of it right now. It's kombucha like for those of you that are familiar with kombucha.

I knew I was forgetting something.... P90X is coming along. Almost done w/ my first 90 days... then it's onto round two.