Saturday, July 31, 2010

I can almost taste it now!

I am just giddy with excitement this morning. I sat down and started reading some emails this morning. I didn't think there were that many things that could get me excited on a (not-so-)early Saturday morning, but this one has me revved up and raring to go! In my mailbox this morning, I had a newsletter from the WDW Disney Endurance Team with lots of information on the Wine & Dine Half-Marathon.

My heart started pounding in my chest.....
Butterflies started fluttering in my stomach....

I finally had a map. A real, true map of the race and it is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. Now, of course, I'd love to run through the Magic Kingdom as well, but I'm sure MK is open late that night and a girl can't have everything, right?

Here is the info straight from the Endurance Series newsletter:
Start at the newly re-imagined ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex running down Victory Way and then west on Osceola Parkway toward Disney's Animal Kingdom® Park.  Then race back toward Disney's Hollywood Studios™. The course will wind through the idyllic village of Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resorts and lead you through the international gateway entrance to Epcot®, where you will finish just before your party at World Showcase! 

As I looked closely through the map, I was thrilled to see how much of the run is THROUGH the actual parks and not in some back alley behind the scenes, very boring, trash dumpster kind of route.  The run leads us through 3 of the beloved Disney Parks: Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios and, of course, EPCOT. I love the idea of running around the Tree of Life on Discovery Island back to the entrance to Africa, along the Discovery River to Asia where I hope to see the Yeti on Expedition Everest. From Everest, we run out the park for the one boring 3 mile segment of the run from Animal Kingdom to Disney's Hollywood Studios where we will enter by the Tower of Terror, run up Sunset Boulevard to the Sorcerer's Hat to Streets of America and onto Mickey Avenue where I have spent many hours waiting in line to greet characters for my kids. Maybe this time, I will be meeting some Disney Characters just for me! From Mickey Avenue, we'll run through the old Back lot Tour around Echo Lake and out the front of Disney's Hollywood Studios.

From this point, I will be genuinely excited. Not only because I'll be at mile 12 as I round the the Disney boat dock to the EPCOT resorts, but I will be on a route that I have run many, many times before. Whenever we visit WDW (about every 3 years), we stay at the Boardwalk Inn Resort which is wedged in between Disney's Hollywood Studios and EPCOT. The final 1.1 mile will be an adrenaline rush as I round the Swan & Dolphin and press on to the Yacht & Beach Club over to EPCOT. It won't matter that my legs are tired, my body is locked up or that it's midnight and I should be heading to bed. I will have that final adrenaline rush when I see the nightlife on the Boardwalk, hear the sights and sounds that are so very familiar to me and give me the final push into the chute.

Now you understand why I am so excited about this race. Everything in Disney World is magical to me, even a torturous 13.1 mile run. BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!

Everyone racer knows that there are two key factors to determining your satisfaction with a particular race.
1) The T-shirt (and I still don't know what that will look like)
2) The Medal.............................................................................and here's a picture of it.

INAUGURAL DISNEY WINE & DINE HALF MARATHON, OCTOBER 2,2010 in the shape of Spaceship Earth (aka the giant golf ball) with 3 charms hanging off of it. I can't find a great picture of the medal so I can look at the charms closer, but I'm assuming they are the 3 icons of the 3 parks we run through.

In summary, now you will understand why I am so giddy, like a teenager going on a first date. I get to spend the weekend with my awesome husband as well as some incredible family and friends who will be there to cheer me on and support me at the finish line. I get to act like a young princess running down the chute to her Prince Charming.

Let's face it. Wouldn't you like to come?
You should. It will be a Magical Weekend.

Friday, July 30, 2010

What's happened....

The charming lane I rode down on my ride last Friday
I'm a little behind the times in reporting on my workouts....since I'm such a fabulous blogger!

Training plan for July 20-25:
Tuesday       -      P90X Kenpo X, 1000 yard lap swim 5k run instead

Wednesday  -      5k run wanted to swim since I changed my plan last night, but pool was closed,  P90X X-Stretch (was just what I needed with a little bit of work stress going on)

Inspired by God's creation on my ride
Thursday      -      P90X Core Synergestics  ugh hated this DVD, 1000 yard lap swim 5k run

Friday          -      Dolce 27 mile ride  Didn't get 27 miles in since the girls wound up having swim practice

Saturday      -      Rest (Tazewell County Swim Meet) and dinner with Leber family

Sunday        -      P90X Chest, shoulders & triceps, 5k Run  Does cleaning the basement for 5 hours count? 

In summary, I guess it's a good thing I can be fairly flexible with my schedule and adapt my workouts to whatever comes up. Here is a review of this week's workouts:

July 26-30:
A good workout always results in bad hair
Monday       -      Firm Body Sculpt, 600 yd swim
Tuesday      -      15.32 mile bike ride
Wednesday -       Lake swim lightning kept us out of the water so it wound up being a rest day
Thursday     -      Firm Body Sculpt
Friday         -      Good Lord, I hope I get to run & swim tonight, but I'm working on 4 hours of sleep after having the dance team spend the night at our house

Plan for the next week leading to my OWS triathlon??? Learn how to use the MULTI-SPORT function on my Garmin 305 so I don't screw it up like I did in Tremont. 

Friday        - 5k run, 800 yard swim
Saturday    - Firm Body Sculpt, Bike Ride
Sunday      - 5k run, lake swim
Monday      - Firm Body Sculpt, Bike ride
Tuesday      - 5k run
Wednesday - Firm Body Sculpt, Lake swim
Thursday     - 5k run
Friday          - easy ride
Saturday      - Lakeland Bi-Tri Classic
Sunday        REST

Have a good, sweaty week!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

OK, scratch that

Every Wednesday & Sunday nights the Tremont Triathlon Team heads out to Lake Windermere to swim a 400 yard triangle to practice open water swims. As usual, I maintained my casually non-committal self....until I committed to the Lakeland Bi-Tri Classic. Then, it was time to commit to swimming in the open water.

Cheryl & I after the 2009 Turkey Fest 5k
Last night I twisted my niece, Cheryl's, arm and forced her to come up to my house from Springfield for the swim. My mistake. Cheryl left work early to get here in time to join the swim at 6 p.m. As she drove here, the skies got darker and darker. Wouldn't you know it? 5:45 p.m. lightning strikes. Oh brother. What to do? We checked radar and it looked like it was all going to blow over quickly. So we hung out for a while....6 p.m......6:15.....more lightning.

The open water swim was not going to happen tonight. Instead, we shared our other passion - a night at the movies where we saw "Inception". Unfortunately, Cheryl cannot make it to the OWS on Sunday. The next OWS is the Wednesday before the triathlon and I don't think she wants to risk taking more time off of work and not getting the swim in. So it sounds like I am not going to have a partner in crime for the Canton triathlon. I'm truly bummed. Cheryl & I have supported each a ton over the last year and a half, pushing each other with workouts, setting goals and completing races. I couldn't imagine going through this whole process without her. I'm so thankful to have such an awesome niece in my life as well as a great athletic role model. Lova ya, Cheryl!

OWS Here I come

Tracy Meeks and family, Gene Pflederer and myself
looking awesome in my condom cap
It seems that I will continue to be susceptible to peer pressure all of my life. Monday night I took Diva Princess to her softball pool party and spent some time talking to a few other triathletes in town. We discussed our current training, past races and upcoming events - that's where I got caught hook, line and sinker.

Last year I did two triathlons: Tremont Triathlon and Lakeland Bi-Tri Classic. Tremont Tri is a nice pool swim, sprint triathlon. Nice and relaxing. No big deal. Lakeland? Well, it is a 500 yard open water swim in Strode Lake in Canton. Last year I went into the race cold. I didn't train in open water. I read all sorts of articles, but I really didn't prepare for it the way I should have. I just showed up....and FREAKED OUT.

Note my body language: I'm not in a hurry to get in the water
I really didn't think I would. I stayed at the back of the pack, swam to the outside to avoid people who might be grabbing my ankles or trying to swim over me. I didn't run in like most triathletes who are excited to get their race started. Oh no, not me. I walked. I sauntered. I delayed as much as possible because even though I thought I was ready, in my heart of hearts, I knew I was not. I walked in slowly keeping an eye on the first buoy and praying I would get there safely.

Hitting the water, I was amazed at how little I could see. OH MY GOSH. Then the bottom washes away from you and my final security net was taken away. I can't touch the bottom. I don't have a wall to push off of every 25 yards. I actually have to swim 500 yards without help and that's when the doubts sink in. What if I can't do it? What if I take in water? What if someone swims over me? What if they don't see me going down?

Notice I'm not diving in - I actually think I'm trying to pee here
It didn't take long for the self doubts to get the best of me. I flipped over to my back and stared up at the sky. Seeing the white clouds against the blue sky really helped me to calm down. I took some strokes on my back and flipped back over to my stomach, but each time I needed a breath I would flip back over to my back. On the back part of the triangle, I KNOW the rescue guys in the canoe were watching me a little too closely, fearing I would totally freak out or not make it. Finally, after almost 14 minutes I crawled out of the lake and headed to the transition area.

Once in the transition area, I couldn't ignore the need to pee. I wanted to pee before the race started, but they announced they were closing the transition area and I got worried that I wouldn't be able to get my goggles. So I skipped the porta-potties. Not a wise decision. So as I sat down to put on my shoes, (yes, I know I shouldn't sit down, but it was a good cover) I took the opportunity to relieve my bladder while I sat in the grass. My T1 was 3:35 - I guess it took me a while to relax my bladder and pee.  I jumped on my 20 year old bike and off I went.  The 12 mile bike ride took me 47:30. Yes, I know. Kind of slow.  T2 was 44.1 seconds. Awesome and I finished a very hilly 3 mile run in 27:27.

This year I am hoping to improve GREATLY on my swim time and get it closer to 10 minutes. I averaged 15.2 mph on my bike. I'd like to see that above 16. My run was 9.09 pace. I'm happy with that at this point. I doubt that will be much improved, especially over the hills, but I will probably make that a goal for next year.

So, here's to the Lakelane Bi-Tri Classic and hoping for a new PR.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wash away the stress

The sun broke through the morning dew, crisp and clear, mocking me. It's okay. I can take it. I felt a little skeptical on what the day would bring. How would things go at the pool? Would today be better?

As soon as I finished my breakfast, I went to the basement to start my P90X workout. Today's DVD was the X-Stretch. I was kind of curious how it would go since I definitely did not enjoy the Yoga DVD from a week or so ago, but today was a new day and I was determined to create a positive experience to start my day right. X-Stretch was a very relaxing DVD full of stretching exercises for the entire body. I truly enjoyed the workout. The stretches were held for a very long count almost to the point of a meditation for my mind and body. The only con to the DVD is that I think Tony Horton could have shortened the video by not stretching each muscle so many times again and again. By the time the DVD was over, I was fully relaxed and ready to handle the day.

I went to the fitness center where a disgruntled member complained about her prox card not working. "Yes, ma'am, I apologize. We are still having computer problems. Yes, ma'am, I understand your complaint. We are hoping to have it fixed this week." Grrrr. I met with our auditors in the morning providing the required paperwork. I went to the library to renew some books and DVDs.

"What's wrong with the pool?" asked the librarian. Living in a small town, I shouldn't have been surprised.
"Why does everyone think something's wrong with the pool?" I asked more than a little defensively. "We took advantage of the supposed bad weather and shocked the pool." ....moving on.....

I went to the pool.....

Our assistant pool manager greeted me with a faint smile. Uh-oh. That didn't look good. She brought the water level down to flush out the overly chlorinated water and re-filled the pool just in time Scrambled eggs and turkey hot dogs. OK, not too bad.

Finally, around 9 p.m., I found the silver lining, the advantage to my job. I was planning on going for another run at night since I enjoyed my Tuesday night run so much. The afterglow stayed with me for most of the morning on Wednesday. However, when I mentioned going for a swim, my husband perked right up. He was thinking about training for next year's Tremont Triathlon and I think he liked the idea of being able to swim for the 1st time without anyone seeing him. So instead of getting on my running shoes, hubby & I put on our suits & goggles and headed up to the pool for refreshing swim to wash away the stress of the day.

Of course, I had a real "work" reason to be at the pool. We had finally gotten our new belts for the UltraMax, which is the automatic pool vacuum cleaner which moves over the bottom of the pool at night. I needed to make sure it was no longer getting stuck on the new VGB drains.

We let ourselves into the pool and donned our goggles and me with my cap. The water was still a little cool since the heater was not running on the pool at this time of the year, but it was definitely refreshing. We swam under the moon and stars without overhead lights. The entire workout was very relaxing and almost intimate feeling. Hubby struggled with his first strokes as a real swimmer, just as I did over two years ago, but the sky was clear and the moon was shining down on us. An excellent way to end the day.

I woke this morning full of optimism only to find myself frustrated when I tried to work out. My oldest, AKA Hollywood, was asleep on the couch on the basement. Grrrr. So I brought my DVD upstairs to workout. Big mistake. I know my hubby thinks he's being funny, but I don't appreciate his little comments about me falling behind on the reps or criticizing my form. Cause you know what? I don't say a word when he is looking ever so awkward doing his workout. I don't even enter the room because I KNOW he would not enjoy it. Add hubby's commentary to Tony Horton's lack of previewing a move and strange name conventions that are no where near industry standards and I copped an attitude and gave up. I guess myself for another glorious run tonight in the darkness.

What are you doing today to move your body?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Old Fashioned Stress Relief

Today was one of those Dog Days of Summer where nothing was going to go right. Working in the area of Parks & Recreation, one would think my job would not be that stressful, but given that its summer time and we have a community pool with a swim team and swim lessons, in-house recreation baseball and parks to mow and maintain, life at the park district can definitely be eventful. With the impending storms, we decided to close the pool early and prevent the staff from having to come back up to the pool, close and go home and then return when the storms cleared – like we did yesterday. Two times.

So, ME, the budget minded manager, decided to close the pool for the day. Radar looked patchy at best and thunderstorms were called for the entire afternoon.

About 1 p.m. the sun broke through the clouds. Crap!

I got a text from Sunshine stating my two other daughters were fighting AGAIN. My oldest sent me a text asking me to come home because no one was listening to her. I came home to have my oldest break into tears as she tried to explain her frustrations from the day and her two unruly sisters.

At this point, I talked to my hubby  and between my own frustrations at work and issues at home, I was ready to call it all quits and become a SAHM again. Just how can it be worth it to have unsupervised children at home, fighting, sitting in front of their computers or TV screens and me at work not enjoying my job? How much money can that be worth?

Today there wasn't enough money in the world to make it worth it. I hated my job. I hated my lack of control in my home. I hated feeling so frustrated.

Normally, my joke would be that I needed a glass of wine to win(e)d, but not today. I knew wine would not do the trick.

1)      It would not solve my problems.

2)      It wasn’t worth the calories or potential liver damage.

Instead I decided to go straight for the hard stuff…..


That’s the only thing that was going to relieve my stress. And I loved it.

9 p.m. a nice 5k run through my quiet little town as I contemplated the trials and tribulations of my day, what went wrong and how to fix it. My run was refreshing, inspiring. Damn! It felt good.  P90X Kenpo this morning and an easy 5k run this evening. Capped off a rotten day, but I am thankful God has blessed me with the ability to relieve that stress. 

P90X Kenpo

Direct from Wikipedia:

Kenpō (拳法?) is the name of several martial arts. The word kenpō is a Japanese translation of the Chinese word "quánfǎ. This term is often informally transliterated as "kempo", as a result of applying Traditional Hepburn romanization,[1] but failing to use a macron to indicate the long vowel. The generic nature of the term combined with its widespread, cross-cultural adoption in the martial arts community has led to many divergent definitions.[2]

OK, so it's kickboxing - pretty much - only in Tony Horton style which means you have to do some strange poses and combinations.

At the beginning of the workout, Tony suggested using a heart rate monitor to make sure you are "in the zone". I ran upstairs to grab my heart rate monitor and my computer to download a heart rate calculator and I was ready for my workout. 

I honestly didn't care for the warm-up which consisted of a lot of body weight stretching. I didn't care for it because your weight could make you overstretch if you weren't ready to go to that point. The workout itself wasn't bad. I was able to keep in my heart range, even if it was the lower end. I think it could be higher if I knew what each of names of the moves were and what I was supposed to be doing. Instead, I have to watch the first move or 2 to figure out what to do. Maybe I skipped a beginner's video or something, but that would be my one criticism of P90X. Tony Horton doesn't preview the move before moving right into it. 

Workout is done. Breakfast was a boast of Oatmeal Squares with skim milk. 

I don't know if my 1000 yard swim will get done today. It's supposed to rain throughout the day...and rest of the week.

Now to start my day.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Motivation Monday

Never Give Up.
Never quit working toward your goals.
Create your plan.


So where is my EPIC FAIL? I haven't created my plan.

No plan. No goal. No sense of achievement.


So, get on the band wagon and get at it.

Here are my goals for the week:

Training plan:
Tuesday       -      P90X Kenpo X, 1000 yard lap swim
Wednesday  -      5k run, P90X X-Stretch
Thursday      -      P90X Core Synergestics, 1000 yard lap swim
Friday          -      Dolce 27 mile ride
Saturday      -      Rest (Tazewell County Swim Meet) and dinner with Leber family
Sunday        -      P90X Chest, shoulders & triceps, 5k Run

Nutrition plan:
1500 calories / day

Home plan:
Clean up basement for dance team overnight next week (12 girls - am I crazy or what?)

Menu Plan:
It's the week of 3 girls planning:
Tuesday - Sunshine's plan - hamburgers
Wednesday - Diva Princess' plan - eggs of some sort
Thursday -  work meeting at Perdue's
Friday -  Grilled chicken

RPM Plan:
Tues & Wed - Segment 1
Thurs & Fri - Segment 2

Work Plan:
Line up instructors for Fall programs

OK, now I've got a plan. Time to work it! Go to bed so I can get up in the morning.


Dog Days of Summer

We have hit the Dog Days of Summer in our house....and the house pet is a mutt, not a thoroughbred. For the girls, softball is over. Swim team is in the final week. The community pool has become "boring" and there just "isn't anything to do!". Argh!

On Sunday, we decided it was time to attack some very messy, unorganized bedrooms.....which led to tears, fits and whining...and then we asked the girls to help out. In the middle of my little Sunshine's 3rd or 4th fit, we learned that some dear friends of ours had sold their home and would soon be moving away. After another 20 minutes of tears, we were finally able to re-focus on the task at hand and get the job completed.

On Monday, I left a long list of chores for my little precious angels. When my dear hubby came home from work and found some jobs unfinished, Sunshine told her dad that "they have to do everything and mom and dad do nothing" and that even though I wash, dry, fold, stack and hang the clothes (thus - they only have to put them away) that I do "the easy part". Argh!

Well, for the first time in weeks, we actually have NOTHING to do each night this week! What?!? Say that again?!?! Nothing!!!! We will all be home together for dinner. We can have dinner conversation and spend time together. What a 1950s concept!

So in order to prevent further whining, I assigned each of the girls a night to cook dinner. My oldest daughter was supposed to have dinner tonight, but it was an EPIC FAIL! She didn't check the cupboard to make sure we had the ingredients she needed. Why would I let my daughter fail like this? Was I looking forward to dinner at Perdue's? Of course, but that wasn't my purpose. I was trying to teach my kids that it takes a lot of planning to make dinner for our family and that it's very difficult and demoralizing to make a dinner which no one ends up eating.

Of course, our impromptu dinner out on the town did nothing for my personal goals. Of course, I've been REALLY lazy about those goals. So, I guess that should be my next step.....writing down my goals.

More to follow....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bring it on, Monday!

Seeing as how I got very little sleep over the weekend, I shouldn't have been surprised when my morning didn't start off right. My alarm goes off at 5:15 a.m. and normally it takes me a few minutes, but I get out of bed by 5:30. Not today. I hit the snooze button for about 20 minutes like any other normal person in self denial that it's time to wake up.

Then I just turned it off.

And went back to sleep.

I finally rolled my lazy, sluggish self out of bed about 6:30 a.m., but I should have been realistic Sunday night when I went to bed and realized 5 am was not going to be my friend.

In order to feel better about my slow moving morning, I decided it was time to get back to calorie counting. So I logged right on to my favorite online calorie counting page, Spark People, and started updating my stats. I was astounded when I saw this:

Glucose/Diabetes Measurements
Glucose (daily)  
A1C (twice a year) 

I didn't know you could track your glucose reading on Spark People. Wow! Now I don't know if this pops for everyone or if I finally admitted to Spark People that I was diabetic and they gave me access to this portion of the tracker, but I was thrilled. Now I might actually go back to checking my sugars on a daily basis. Actually, I just read an article in Diabetic Living magazine which talks about checking your sugars before and after a meal to see how a meal affects your body. I really want to do that. I have the feeling that this information will help me more than anything on figuring out why my A1C was so much higher last time.

Unfortunately, I tracked my breakfast....and then that was it for the day. I was so busy getting ready for my board meeting I forgot about calorie tracking. Actually, I thought about it each time I ate something, but never followed through. So, I am catching up this morning and putting it all in the tracker.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Back home

The weekend is now coming to a close and I'm not sure that I'm sad about it. A weekend that I was looking forward to turned into..... well, a weekend I didn't enjoy very much.

Last Monday my Diva Princess started complaining of a headache and running a fever. On Wednesday, we took her to the doctor just to make sure it wasn't  more than the virus which was going around town....only to find out that it was. The doctor said the virus will run its course in 4-7 days. Knowing we were going to Missouri on Friday, we were optimistic that we would be set to go on day 5. However, that wasn't the case.

5 a.m. Friday morning. 101.6. 9 a.m. 99.0  Maybe????

We became obsessive, checking her temperature every 15 minutes, but alas it wasn't meant to be. Her temp went up. We talked to my niece who we were sharing a cabin with. She has 1 year old and I didn't want to expose her son to this virus, but she said to come to Missouri and everything would be fine. So, we packed it up and were on the road by 11:30 a.m. Friday morning. The drive took us a little over 4 1/2 hours, but our princess was loaded up on medicine so she made it to Steelville, Missouri without an issue.

We arrived just in time to get ready to go horseback riding which was at 5 p.m. Princess was still doing relatively well and really perked up when we arrived at the Bass River Resort and started running around with her cousins.  Nine of us went on a 1 hour trail ride through the resort including my 3 girls and myself. The kids were definitely excited to ride through the trails and experience "life on a ranch".

After our ride, we went back to our cabin. The cabins have 1 bathroom, 1 bedroom, a couch bed and 4 double beds in the upstairs loft. Every bed is a full size bed, not a king like we are used to at home. Friday night I took princess to bed about 10 p.m. so she could some rest before our float on Saturday all the while hoping her fever would break before morning.

Remember how I said the beds were full sized? Well, my DH didn't take the hint very well when I asked him where he was going to sleep. About midnight, he climbed into bed with princess and I....and thus ended any possibility of me sleeping. 3 people - even if one of those people happens to be a small 8-year old princess - does not make for good sleep in a full sized bed. Because my princess was so congested, breathing through her nose sounded more like a fog horn - going off in my ear all night. Between the fog horn, the lack of space in bed, and 8 other people in the cabin tossing, turning and trying to sleep, I was awake through most of the night. Argh.(NOTE: I didn't hint for Saturday night. I point blank told DH he had to sleep upstairs.)

The sun came up on our little cabin Saturday morning and we were determined to make it a good day. Princess was still running a low grade fever, but she had plenty of spunk and wanted to go on the float trip. So we thought we'd give it a try. Our bus picked us up at 9:15 and we were off for our 6 mile float. The sun was warm and the water was cold. Unfortunately, the river was a little low and we had to walk our raft in several places. About halfway through the float, princess lost her interest in floating. She wanted to float like we do on the Mackinaw River where she actually gets to get out and swim down the river, but since the river was so shallow in most places she would have been walking instead of floating. Instead she sat on the side of the raft and gained little enjoyment through the day. We hit our destination about 2 p.m. and started back to the resort. Once there, princess perked up again and spent the next hour or so at the pool with her cousins. She told daddy she just didn't feel like floating today.

While everyone else was at the pool, I was hoping to relieve a little stress and tension from the float by heading out for a run. I had a mild headache, but attributed it to the lack of sleep and time in the sun. I followed the road from Bass River Resort back to the main road leading to Steelville for 2 miles and then looped back. The hills on the road were so long and tough that I decided to walk the "big one" on my way back to the resort. Once back at the cabin, I relaxed on the front porch reading my latest issue of Diabetic Living magazine. The peace and quiet was just what the doctor ordered for me at least.

I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing with my sisters and brother-in-law. It's amazing how much I love these people, the people who helped form my life, my goals and dreams. I couldn't imagine my life without them. We went to the lodge for dinner. My sisters love the meal every year. I, however, do not care for it much. Maybe I'm a food snob, but I guess I'm just not used to eating college dorm type of food anymore.

The exciting part of dinner was watching 2 drunk college aged guys get into a shoving match, dropping "f" bombs here and there....followed by my niece yelling at them for using vulgar words in front of her children. HA! Way to go, Jill! (And yes the one who wasn't on the floor did apologize.)  After dinner we relaxed back at the cabins....until about 8:30 p.m. when Abby came to me saying she was freezing. I felt her forehead and she didn't feel warm. I really thought we had gotten past the virus, but I checked her temperature and yep! 101.6. Argh. We went inside, popped some Motrin and got under the covers. It was 8:30 p.m. on a Saturday  night on my mini-vacation and I was in bed!!! DH came in and asked if I was going to go back out since it took princess about 30 seconds to fall asleep. I was afraid to leave her in a foreign place with no night light and since my headache had gotten worse, I thought a little sleep was just what I needed. I think I finally fell asleep about 9:30 p.m. ...only to wake up to a splitting headache at 11 p.m. I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep, but sleep was not my friend Saturday night.

Around midnight, princess woke up. Her clothes and the sheets were soaked all the way through. After turning on a light, I found her pajamas and helped her change. We put a clean t-shirt underneath her since I didn't have clean sheets for the bed. I tried to sleep some more, but to no avail. I was in tears with frustration from lack of sleep and my splitting headache. I almost felt as if I was going slightly bonkers. Finally, about 1 a.m. I remembered my hubby's toilet kit was in my room. I said a quick prayer that he would have some decongestant in his toilet kit and God certainly did answer those prayers. I took the nasty little pill  and finally fell asleep somewhere after 1:30 a.m. I woke up several times throughout the night and my Princess was no longer a heating blanket. I was glad to know that it seemed she had finally kicked the virus.

All night Saturday night while I couldn't sleep I just kept thinking that I should have followed my intuition and stayed home, but I was just sure my baby's fever would break on Friday and I would be sorry that we didn't make the trip. While I did enjoy the time I got to spend with my sisters, nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews, I do wish that I had stayed home and snuggled up to some good movies with my little baby. Because at 1 a.m. when you can't sleep in a cabin full of 10 other people, you really don't have any options, but to lay there and pray for sleep.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

900 Cycling Tips

I am cycle obsessed. I am fat and slow on the bike and determined to get better. As is my nature, I've started my OCD ways of googling Cycling Tips, searching for books through inter-library loan and downloading podcasts on cycling.

Now, keep in mind. I don't want books or research materials which refer to peloton, paceline, echappee, or domestique. I am looking for "Bicycling for Dummies". I need to understand when to use my small gears or my large gears, what my cadence should be and how it all affects my speed.

I did find one book through the inter-library loan which I didn't think would be over my head. "Bicycling Magazine's 900 All-Time Best Tips". Should be simple, right?

"If climbing isn't your forte, make sure you're at the front of the group when the hill starts, then go up at your pace. If you gradually drift back you'll still be with everyone (or close behind) at the top."

Are they speaking directly to me???? Cause my Dolce can attest to the fact that climbing is NOT my forte.

Under the heading of "108 Tips for Skill Builders", I found this tip perplexing:

"If you latch onto a passing rider, it's bad etiquette to just sit there enjoying the draft without offering to take some pulls. {????} The other rider may decline if he's doing a workout, but he'll appreciate your offer and feel less annoyed by your wheelsucking."

Take some pulls? What are you offering? What does it matter if he/she is doing a workout or not?

However, the book did have some decent tips on descent and hill climbs. I will have to re-read those sections a few times....each night for the next 21 nights. (That's how long it takes to create a habit, right?)

I took some of those tips while fresh in my head out on the road this morning for a quick ride. I would like to show my Gary Garmin information download, but of course Gary was being fickle and didn't want to download to Connect.Garmin. I'll have to try again. Anyway, this picture is one of few flat sections at the beginning of my ride. The hills on Augustin and Schmidtgall were just unbelievable and challenging, but I felt good for the first 9 miles until I turned into the headwind....and my speed dropped way down low. BUT it felt good to be out on the road, in the sunshine with me and my Dolce.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Pot of Gold at the Laundry Mat?

Yesterday my little Diva Princess started complaining of a headache and running a fever. Unfortunately, there seems to be a virus going around which lasts 4-5 days with just these symptoms. With Tylenol in my left hand and Motrin in my right, mom came to save the day, or at least the night so we could all get a decent night's sleep.

This morning we knew my little princess was not going to go to swim practice. We were hoping she'd feel better and be able to swim in the meet against Morton. So, we let her sleep in. I took my little ray of sunshine to her swim practice this morning and on the way into town, I saw the most beautiful, soft rainbow. Amazingly enough, it looked like the end of the rainbow landed right in front of....the town laundry mat? Now, believe me, that laundry mat does not contain a pot of gold.

I dropped sunshine off at the pool for her practice and got ready to run. Now keep in mind I haven't run since the Tremont Triathlon about 10 days ago. I left my trusty sunglasses in the car because there was a nice, fine mist of rain showering down on me and I don't have wipers on them. I started out on my run and felt nice and comfortable, but decided to do intervals....because I'm a wimp. There is something just mental about my running and since I knew I hadn't run in 10 days, I convinced myself I shouldn't run a 5k.  After a 1.25 mile warm-up, I started doing intervals walking a block, jogging a block and running a block. And I definitely define my pace as jogging and running. I'd like to say that it's a sprint, but that's definitely not happening yet. My requirements for these paces? Jogging is at least a 10 minute mile pace. Running is as close to 8 minutes/mile for as long as I keep it up.

In the end, I completed the required 5k and even stretched my running segments longer and longer. I didn't find the pot of gold at the laundry mat, but I certainly felt good to be outside running again. Mmmm, exercise is sooo good.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Lessons from on top of my Dolce Elite

After reading DC Rainmaker's blog on How to Create Courses for Your Garmin Forerunner, I was very excited to try it out. I went to MapMyRide and found a local route to download onto my Forerunner 305. The route was a simple ride from Tremont to Delavan and looped back. Simple. Easy as pie, right? Ummm, welll,.....

It didn't go like I pictured. Instead I learned some lessons about cycling and using a Forerunner 305.

  1. If you download someone else's route from an internet site, pay attention to where the START point actual is. 
  2. The Garmin does not show roads and if you don't know where the route starts, all you will get is a beep and a warning stating you are off route.
  3. The Forerunner 305 is not like the Garmin you have in your car. The Forerunner will not give you alternate directions or re-route you. I kind of knew that, but I was hoping that I could cross the designated route and it would say "OK - now you are on route". NOPE.  Gary Garmin does not work that way. 
  4. If you husband tells you it is windy out there, believe him. It's not that I didn't believe him, but DON'T DOUBT THE POWER OF THE WIND.
  5. The wind can and will knock you off of the road.
  6. If it doesn't knock you off the road, it will make you lean so far that you think your Dolce is going to come out from under you. 
  7. I discovered I know a lot more country roads in the area than I gave myself credit for. Of course, it's not too difficult when you are just making a loop around the small town that you already know.
  8. If you are riding in the country, expect to see all sorts of bugs flying at your face.
  9. Apparently, bugs like salt, too.
  10. 27.26 miles....and I'm still slow on the bike. Guess I'd better keep pedaling.

Using my Garmin

I've had my Garmin Forerunner 305 since Christmas. Over the last 7 months, I've simply turned it on and went for a run or bike ride. I was curious before the Tremont Triathlon a few weeks ago to see how I could use it during the triathlon. I found a blog which I am now using DAILY. It's called DC RAINMAKER.

DC Rainmaker is a business man who travels quite extensively, but takes his bike and workout equipment with him. His blog is all about the various Garmin devices and how to use them in training and races. Check out his blog if you are wanting to get the most out of your Garmin device. Today I'm using his "HOW TO" Guide on downloading a pre-mapped course from MapMyRide and loading it onto my Garmin for a longer bike ride.

I'll let you know how it goes....

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Foxy Moxie

For the Foxy Moxie in all of you:

I follow a pretty funny blog by Steve titled "Steve in a Speedo?! Gross!". The name alone is enough to peak your interest, isn't it?

Well, Steve is having giveaway. Why? Because he's a good blogger. Companies know he will put something out everyday. AND IT'S ENTERTAINING. Even if you have to look at his narly toes, nasty blisters and cat's anus. He's still amusing.

So, go check out Steve In A Speedo if you are interested in a Moxie Skirt (for the ladies) or a pair of Ryders sunglasses (which is what I really want, but I'm not a MAN so )....

Or don't...cause I want to win and the odds look good when there are only 8 people responding.