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Sunday, May 31, 2009

New Stuff

I am soooo excited.

I got a new pair of bike shoes and pedals.

These are my new and nifty Specialized Trivent shoes. I've read many reviews and they were nearly all positive. It's a great entry-level carbon tri shoe for ~ $160.00

I always rode with mountain bike pedals and shoes, because mountain bike shoes were so much easier to walk in. I wasn't happy with my last pair of mountain bike shoes; they just weren't right for my foot right. So I decided if I was going to have to buy shoes, I may as well get a triathlon biking specific shoe. I'm glad I did.

Getting these shoes meant I had to get new pedals too. I always worry about spending too much and not being happy, and that's easy to do with the cost of bike equipment. This, by far, was the most I've ever spent on a pair of athletic shoes of any kind, so I was a little nervous; and now I had to buy new pedals in order to use them.

In come my new Speedplay pedals. There are all different versions made of all different materials. I was immediately drawn to the Speedplay X2's, based on their reviews, but decided it was too rich for my pocketbook. I mean, the only way to know you like them, is to try them... I was concerned I'd hated them, I'd be stuck with them, or lose too much if I tried to sell them. Very unlikely from the reviews, but I had to think about that when dropping another $200 on equipment -- and that's cheap for pedals. So I wound up getting the Speedplay Light Cromo for a little over half the price. Same technology, but slightly heavier (like a few grams really matters with my fat-a$$!). In the end they are were the economically friendly choice, and even came in Pink and Red! And although tempted to go Red to match my bike, I just went with black.

My Husband/personal bike mechanic got them installed this morning and I hit the road with them. After just a few tries I was getting in and out of them like I've had them forever. I love the little bit of float they offer. I have a tendency to turn my feet slightly in from time-to-time and I'm glad they have the flexibility to do that, whether or not it's right or wrong, I don't know.

The biggest thing I noticed when using the shoes and pedals is my cadence! OMG!! It is so much faster without even trying really. Where before I was working to hang out around 83 to 85, I'm going 90 - 93 with very little additional work, if any. My 25 mile ride this morning had a great (for me) average at over 16 mph. I was beside myself every time I looked at the computer, because it used to be keeping my cadence 80 to 85 took some effort.

So far I'm happy with my purchase. :)

And I'm getting rid of a pair of Pearl iZumi Quest 2009 mountain bike shoes (black/silver/berry) worn maybe 3 dozen times? And some 2003 Time Mountain bike pedals. The cleats still work and have never failed me, but probably need replacing just because of age. The pedals work great still. Coco gets first crack at the MTB shoes, if she wants them. :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Blogging?

I haven't been blogging much the last couple weeks. Between training and work things have been just a tad busy. The Danskin Tri is in just 9 days; I am both excited and anxious to get this one done.

Darren and Cass were in 'bama this past holiday weekend while I worked. We had no idea how long everything would take, so we planned to be here throughout the weekend to get things going; I was definitely glad all went fairly smooth on one really long night. Of course we have a couple things to fine-tune, but overall it was a smooth transition.

While my family was gone, aside from missing them (it makes for a quiet house!), after 2 hours of sleep, on Saturday I volunteered/watched at the Combat Tri at College of the Mainland. Elysha participated; she's my "she-ro". The woman never stops -- she never sits still. She puts me to shame. LOL

Speaking of not sitting still, later on Saturday after we (Elysha, me and her Husband) headed out to Austin, and on Sunday we befriended another lone rider and rode the Danskin bike course. I left feeling good about it, knowing that I would definitely do better than I did in 2003, when I was the bike-leg of our Tri Diva relay team. :) And that is my only goal... to do better than I did the last time.

On Monday I finished the border in Cassie's room; so glad it's done and she loved it! Particularly the sparkly gems I integrated into the flowers. I have to take some pictures of it and post it -- It came out pretty cute, if I do say so myself. :) I want to design a headboard now. I have some ideas and a Husband who can get jiggy with a with a saw, so be very afraid.

Later on Monday Elysha invited me on the boat and we headed out to Clear Lake for some open water swimming practice. Well, let's just say our intentions were good. The water was pretty rough from all the boaters and jet-skiers on the holiday weekend. It was hilarious because while we'd be in the boat the water was calm, no one passing by... but the moment we got in the water, we were like a magnet, drawing all the boats near us! We tried. :) It was still very relaxing, so all was not lost.

Today I'm planning a 15 m bike/3 m run brick. Tomorrow is running, Friday is an open water swim at Anders Lake with others from my tri training group. A little nervous about the water life, but I fiugre if we're there in numbers, we should scare all the critters away.

Saturday, the same group is heading out to Surfside for another bike/run brick to Galveston. For me I will do a 40 m ride and maybe 5 mile run (possibly just 3)

I haven't done much with getting weights in yet... I think after the danskin, I'll have some new focus for the next tri and since I'll already have a baseline, I'll be able to judge how much the weights helped.

As for my thyroid stuff, we're still working on it. I see the doc again, right after the Danskin. I will say that the weight is continuing to come off slowly. My doc suggested that since I am now HYPERthyroid that I lay off the accupuncture until we get my meds regulated. So that's a bummer, but I understand.

Friday, May 22, 2009

2 Points?!?

You know that last tri I did? I just learned this morning that I earned 2 USAT points for the 5th place Athena division finish; that's 2 points.

I don't know what I'm supposed to do with them... but it sounds kinda cool. LOL

I think my multisport training team gets to count them. The different teams keep track of points and clubs win money at the end of the tri season for having the most points.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Swimming

What is the best way to gain more stamina during swimming? how can i improve it !!!?
Sports Comet

"Stamina comes with practice. If you have a difficult time continuously swimming long distances, break your workout down and do a pyramid or ladder set.

Pyramid sets you gradually increase the distance of each set and finish with your longest distanced set. For example, 5 sets: 100, 200, 300, 400 and 500.

Ladder sets you increase your distance, then decrease and finish with a short distance. For example, 5 sets of 200, 300, 400, 300 and 200.

Increase your distances or the number of sets as you get used accustomed to the sets. Set a goal of how many yards you will like to accomplish in your workout. If you workout for an hour, try to complete 3000 yards, then increase to 3200 and so on.

The best way to gain stamina during swimming it to do a lot of long distance swimming about 3-4 times a week roughly about 4kms. then about 3 times a week work on your speed and recovery so do sprints of about 50m at a time with short rest periods you should find a quick change after about 2 weeks..."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kick it in to gear already! My freakin' Thyroid!!!

After another reduction in my meds to .88 of Levoxyl, the last 3 days have been filled with repeat palpitations. They're not as strong as they were pre-medication, but they are coming again. The strange thing is that it seems they last longer... as long as 10 minutes in some cases.

So I called the doctor and the nurse called me back. Evidently I am now HYPERthyroid, instead of HypOthyroid. She said some palpitations would be expected while my body gets used to the reduced medication.

What a balancing act this is!

I did get my first accupuncture treatment yesterday. It will take several before it makes a difference. I'm thinking I need to hold off on another until I know what's going on.

On Training

Last night I attended a seminar on stretching and strength training for triathletes. It was helpful and informative. At the least, I left feeling like a really needed to bring strength training back into my workouts. I'd been focusing so much on cardio endurance that lifting has kind of fell by the wayside.

Basically, my goal is to get 4 strength training sessions in a week with 2 exercises per muscle group. I may be able to accomplish this at lunch time here at work. We have a small gym that might have enough to get by, without having to travel out to the gym.

This was provided by the speaker (a physical therapist, trainer and triathlete) last night. This is a basic strength program to follow for Sprint Distance Tri training.


For the rest of the Summer my training schedule should look like this:


Monday, May 18, 2009

I Liked This Enough to Repost....

"When I was a little girl, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, and extremely burned toast in front of my dad.

I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his toast, smile at my mom, and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember Watching him smear butter and jelly on that toast and eat every bite!

When I got Up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad For burning the toast. And I'll never forget what he said: 'Baby, I love burned toast.'

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if He really liked his toast burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, 'Debbie, your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides-a little burnt toast never hurt anyone!' You know, life is full of imperfect things.....and imperfect people. I'm not the best housekeeper or cook.

What I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults - and choosing to celebrate each other's differences - is the one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

And that's my prayer for you today. That you will learn the wisdom in taking the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life. When they challenge you -- as they more often than not will -- give them to God. In the end, He will give you grace in situations so that burnt toast doesn't become a deal-breaker! We could extend this to any relationship in fact - as understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!! "

"Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket but into your own."

Whatever you do, don't let burnt toast be a deal breaker! I say, find some real butter and jam to eat it with : )

Official Tri Results *Update*


The good news is, I finished in 1:32:58... not 1:35

Finishing #435 of 467 participants sounds realllllly bad; but have to keep it in perspective.
Finished Lonestar 2:05 and some change, so this is an improvement.

Lots of room to grow; T times are much improved!

Update: Finished 5th in the Athena class out of 8 (not 10)
I was not last!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

2009 Silverlake Tri - 400m / 10 mi / 5 K


So here I am sporting my new team jersey. BAM is Bay Area Multisport. Not sure how I like the 2 piece gig. There are pluses and minuses to 1 vs. 2. The debate is neverending I think. LOL

I took time the night before to prep everything for race day, like a good little triathlete, so I could maximize my sleep. Transition opened at 5:30 am and I had not been there before. I think I need a Garmin. :)

There was scattered rain in the forecast, but the only way the event was going to be canceled, was if there was lightening.

Got up, got dressed, took meds, made breakfast and loaded the car. Said my "see you laters" to Darren and Cass and promptly left, leaving my breakfast behind! Doh!

I found the site, super nice! See that pic at the top! Suffice it to say this tri is definitely a do-again. :) I got myself situated and ran a little, stretch a little, and chatted a bit -- you know, just to warm-up.

I was not sure what to race, age group or Athena. I chose Athena, only because I did age group last time and figured, why not? Evidently I'm in a tough class for age, so I'm better registering for Athena. If you notice, I was number 5 -- usually a number reserved for the "elite" athletes!

The water was nice and warm. My swim was okay, except for getting kicked in the head by someone who it seemed swam backstroke the entire way! My adrenalin was up at the start, so breathing was hard. By the time I made it halfway I calmed down and had my rhythm going. I finished the 400 m swim in just over 13 minutes.

I quickly transitioned to the bike. I actually RAN out of the wanter and RAN out of the transition with my bike. I was super surprised because it usually takes me a while to get my legs back. the 10 mile ride took me about 35 minutes -- I don't have exact time, but my stuff said 37 minutes for the ride and that made for a 16.1 mph. Nice ride too... no hills, through a real pretty subdivision and great volunteer support. I was enjoying the fact I was passing riders...

At some point during the race it did rain, because when I came back in from the bike, my running shoes were a little soggy -- that was annoying. I didn't have anything but a couple sprinkles during the ride, so it surprised me my stuff was so wet.

Then the run... transition to run was pretty good. Remember, I had no breakfast at all, so by now I was feeling it. I was glad I had made a bottle of Cytomax. I don't usually do it because I'm told by several sources that sprint tri athletes carb load too much. I have enough "energy" on my body (fat), so there's really no need for carb loading or extra calories outside of breakfast and a light snack 40 minutes before the start.

My run was okay... but everyone I passed on the bike, passed me on the run. LOL I did walk a few intervals, but never let myself walk more than 60 steps and never let my heart rate go below 155. My average heart rate was 161, my max was 180. I think I finished my run in about 35 minutes, if my math is right. :) So that puts me somewhere between an 11 - 12 minute pace.

So before I left I saw some of the results: I finished number 5 in the Athena class and there were 8 in my class. I don't know what my overall position is yet. but I was in the bottom somewhere, looking at last year's results using my finish time to gauge.

Here's some pictures -- they are scary, so browse at your own risk. No one looks good in their uglies!












Thursday, May 14, 2009

Donna's Copycat Fuji Apple Chicken Salad Recipe


So I went to Panera Bread the other day and enjoyed their Fuji Apple Chicken salad. I have to say it was yummy. But after I went to the website and read the nutritional content I was less than pleased. A 500+ Calorie salad and a ton of ingredient names in the dressing I can't even pronounce. Although one that I can pronounce is Propelyn Glycol, which is found in lighter fluid. Uh, yeah... I don't think so.

So I took it upon myself to make a similar salad.

Salad Fixin's
Romain Lettuce (they used mixed Spring Greens)
Red Onion
Pecans (just a few per salad)
Tomatoes
Dried Apple Chips
Gorgonzola Cheese (just enough)
Rotisserie Chicken (Breast only No Skin)

Donna's Fake Fuji Apple Dressing (6 servings)
    2 T. Olive Oil
    1 T. White Balsamic Vinegar
    1 T. Apple Cider Vinegar
    1 T. Garlic Powder
    1 T. Onion Powder
    1 1/2 t. Dijon Mustard
    3 T. Organic Frozen Applejuice Concentrate

Theirs: 80 Calories 6 g. Fat and full of processed crud.
Mine:
Calories 55.5
  Total Fat 4.5 g
      Saturated Fat 0.6 g
      Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
      Monounsaturated Fat 3.3 g
  Cholesterol 0.0 mg
  Sodium 32.6 mg
  Potassium 36.9 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 3.3 g
      Dietary Fiber 0.2 g
      Sugars 2.1 g
  Protein 0.3 g

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday...

Today is Wednesday, and that means it's a Brick day. I enjoy brick day. :)

Today is also a "sim" day in that I will give max effort on my bike and run since the Silverlake Tri is on Sunday!

2 things of note this week, although not earth-shattering I should recognize for my own benefit. My 5 mile run this week was DEFINITELY better than the week before. My pace for the 5 for still >12, but the cool thing is I actually ran the first 2 miles. Probably shot my load for the remainder of the run, but the point is I feel myself getting better, and that's motivating to me, anyway.

I was behind in training (the 5 mile run and the 700 m swim) because of weekend work and just general lack of time. So got the 5 mile run in on my OFF training day, and yesterday I had a vacation day and took myself to the pool. I swam 2000m in about an hour. I did 4 x 500's, so it wasn't 2000 straight. The last 500 I did with breaths every 5 strokes. Another great improvement. I could only go every 3 or 4 strokes in the beginning. As long as I stay focused and calm, I can do the 5.

Also on Monday I was back at the chiropractor. The hip is improving, but still sore. It's not keeping me from anything, but I know it's there. Strangely it gets super sore at night while I sleep! Next week I'm going to start acupuncture for my thyroid and see if that does anything... never know. It would be awesome if I didn't need to take medicine!

I came upon another blog today called "The Athena & Clydesdale Closet". Looks like it's in its beginnings, but they're doing reviews of tri gear for the larger athlete -- kind of what I'm doing here, but in a more specific way. I'll keep it in my Google Reader and see how that works.

I haven't received my BAM! tri tank. Hopefully today, so I have time to try it out before Silverlake. Still searching for that garment that offers performance and worry-free fit.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A First-Timers Video - Danskin 2007



Brave
Nichole Nordeman, Jay Joyce

The gate is wide
The road is paved in moderation
The crowd is kind and quick to pull you in
Welcome to the middle ground
You're safe and sound and
Until now it's where I've been

'Cause it's been fear that ties me down to everything
But it's been love, Your love, that cuts the strings

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

I am small
And I speak when I'm spoken to
But I am willing to risk it all
I say Your name
Just Your name and I'm ready to jump
Even ready to fall...

Why did I take this vow of compromise?
Why did I try to keep it all inside?

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

I've never known a fire that didn't begin with a flame
Every storm will start with just a drop of rain
But if you believe in me
That changes everything
So long, I'm gone

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
I wanna be brave
The way it always was
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Cassinator

This just tickled me.. probably won't tickle anyone else. But she's so funny about "racing". Even racing up the stairs she gets all nervous and worried she won't win. Certainly it is not something I've taught her, but I guess kids just naturally pick it up at school. We just try to tell her to do her best and not quit.

Cassie: "Mommy, I want to ride my bike on the home day."
Mommy: "Okay, we'll make time for it"
Cassie: "I want to ride with you on all the days" (that means all the time)
Mommy: "You want to race with Mommy too?"
Cassie" "Gasp* "No, I don't I like races" (as she visibly cringes)
Mommy: "No?"
Cassie: "I am afraid I won't win"
Mommy: "You know Cassie, Mommy never wins."
Cassie: She's quiet for a second "Never???"
Mommy: "Never."
Mommy: "What about just riding or running for fun?"
Cassie: "I can do that!"
Mommy: "We can do a "fun run" together one day."
Cassie: "what's a fun run?"
Mommy: "A bunch of kiddos your age run together and cross a finish line."
Cassie: "I would like to fun run, not race."
Cassie: "If we run really, really long, into space, we can have lots of fun!"
Cassie: "The person with the most fun wins, right Mommy? And there's room for everyone to have fun in space"

Mommy: "Right, Cassie." :)

Friday, May 08, 2009

Training and Randomness

It's Friday and ordinarily I'd be happy, except I have to work late on an infrastructure project tonight -- which kind of blows since I miss a cook-out with some friends who are visiting from Germany. Such is life in IT, I guess...

That said, I am going to take a longer lunch and go swim... which is sort of where I should be right now. I'll get there. LOL

Yesterday's run was so-so. I hit the road around 3:30; it was so freakin' hot, humid and difficult ot breathe. It was strange. I squeaked out a 13 minute pace for the 5K, but I could have done better. After yesterday no more running until the evening. There's no real reason to subject myself to it. Even at a sprint that started at 7am, I'd be running by around 9am or 10 am, or so. So no more early morning and evening runs for me in this heat and humidity.

I wanted to give a shout out to Kim over at Big Girl Big City for the post she shared about her G'ma. She made me recall mine, although the recollection of her is never far away. She's been gone more than 10 years now. Also thanks for the thoughtful comment on "living boldly". I like that phrase, and it is applicable.

I guess I am a bit emotionally soft this week, what between G'ma's and Babies... What are you guys doing to me? Getting bent over daycamp and social plans, I need a quick dose of Jillian Michaels (aka the "Whip Sister") to set my tough-butt straight. LOL I have to remember not to sweat the small stuff.

This morning was "Muffins with Mom" at Cass' daycare so I took her to school and we sat and had some muffins together in honor of mother's day. :) Pardon Mommy's appearance though... no makeup and hair tied back -- I was not planning on a photo op, only the pool! LOL Cass, on the other hand, had spring pictures today and was very proud of the dress that her Mimi and Pop Pop sent her. :)




As for the rest of the weekend, my hope is all goes smooth tonight and no work tomorrow. Cass has a playdate tomorrow afternoon. This weekend Darren and Cass were supposed to go to Alabama, but there was a change in plans. Since they were supposed to be gone I volunteered at the TriGril tri in Pearland. So I'll be there bodymarking and giving out finisher's towels. Yeah, I know it's Mother's Day and we should do something special, but in our house... with my Husband and Daughter, EVERYDAY is Mother's day. :) I don't need a "special day" for them to show/tell me they love me. I'm sure we'll do something... but nothing over the top.

The home repair folks finished our house and it is officially de-Iked. All the Ike repairs are complete! Whooohoo! Plus, as a bonus I got Cass' room painted... now all I have to do is the border, and that's the fun part -- pictures to come!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Motivational Quote

Pain doesn't tell you when you ought to stop.
Pain is the little voice in your head that tries to hold you back because it knows

if you continue, you will change.

Don't let it stop you from being who you can be.

Exhaustion tells you when you ought to stop.
You only reach your limit when you can go no further.

Wednesday

Frist, training... Today was brick training. I did a 9 mile ride and 2 mile run. Both were awesome! I averaged just of 16 mph on the ride and had a PR on my 2 mile run 23:08 -- that's an 11:34 pace. That means that in the last 6 weeks I've cut more than a minute of my pace time.

Screw what happened at the YMCA on Sunday -- I know I'm getting better. Don't know what happened that day -- guess my body was just not in the game.

I mentioned the back thing last week. It really has not gone away completely, so I finally when to see Dr. Taylor, a Chiropractor who specializes in sports medicine/injuries and training. She focuses on all things health and fitness, including promoting weightlifting and the Crossfit protocol for training. There are some crazy videos on her blog of folks doing some amazing things! In fact, yesterday, while I was there, one guy had jumped op on a 37" plyobox! No running start... just standing ther and jumped up!

Anyway, Darren has been seeing "Doc" for his shoulder, and hopefully will avoid surgery as a result; things are going well for him!

So the problem I am having is with the Sacroiliac Joint (aka "SI joint") . It is on the posterior side of my hip. I have one leg shorter than the other and it can create an imbalance, though I also read that collisions (like what I had a few weeks ago). Wonder if it could be a delayed onset? From orthopod, I found this:

The SI joint is one of the larger joints in the body. The surface of the joint is wavy and fits together similar to the way Legos® fit together. Very little motion occurs in the SI joint. The motion that does occur is a combination of sliding, tilting and rotation. The most the joint moves in sliding is probably only a couple of millimeters, and may tilt and rotate two or three degrees...

The SI joint hardly moves in adults....The older one gets, the more likely that the joint is completely ankylosed, a term that means the joint has become completely stiffened with no movement at all. It appears that the primary function of the joint is to be a shock absorber and to provide just enough motion and flexibility to lessen the stress on the pelvis and spine.

So, this information coupled with the imbalance in my legs (my right is shorter than my left) and my new running regiment probably annoyed my "sac". Hopefully some stretching, icing and proper training will help. I go back on Monday.

Also, Doc Taylor is certified in Acupunture. She is going to put together a protocol for me with regard to my Thyroid. She would like to figure out what is actually causing the Thyroid to malfunction, not just get it to function right. I like that way of thinking. We talked a bit about my bypass and she shared that she knew several post-ops who have Thyroid issues now. I mentioned that I thought there had to be a correlation... she said she's no research scientist, but based on what she's seen, she would be inclined to think so too. Anyway, we'll see how that goes. :)

As for today I have a 3 mile run on the schedule, then I'm off to take Cass to dance. :)

Tomorrow is a 45 minute swim, which I have to do at lunch because I have to work late on server stuff Friday night.

Saturday is my 5 mile run and Sunday is supposed to be a long bike ride, but I'm volunteering at the TriGril Triathlon in Pearland. I'll be bodymarking and giving out finisher's towels. :)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Kickin' & Screamin'

Seriously, yesterday just sucked. All the way around. I was crabby and had no patience. It started from the moment I woke up and continued throughout the day. Just one annoying thing after another.

Truthfully, in the big picture, none of it was big stuff. Just irritating.

For those of you who don't believe I struggle with getting to the gym and being a domestic goddess, yesterday was one of those days. I knew there was stuff (laundry!) that had to get done at home. I was afraid if I went home after the gym I would just call it a night, and there the laundry would sit.

In the end, I put my body first and packed up to go to the gym right after work. Good choice, right?

So remember how happy I was about the practice tri? Well, I was quickly deflated when I got my official time yesterday -- overall the cumulative time was better than I thought (1:30:28) Just 29 seconds outside of my goal. That was the good news, but what I learned next was horrifying to my training effort:

Evidently I must have slowed my jogging pace so much that they had my run time down as 48:24.

48:24?

I WALK FASTER THAN THAT?????

Right before I left work I got more news that just irritated me so much... I guess I just needed to be mad for a little while. I simply don't understand how that time could be? Seriously, that would be like jogging 3.7 mph... or so. How can you even jog that slow? My hope is that it was an error... this was not a chip timed event. But regardless, I guess I have to step up the running even more. *shrug*

Not wanting to be there and feeling so bummed, I get to the gym... get changed. No goggles. No cap. No swimming without because they just shocked the pool. I was ticked. I felt like I couldn't buy a break today.

I left, picked up Cass and headed home. While domestic goddessing I was quickly losing my motivation to go swim later on; the terms on which I had bargained with my brain when I left the gym earlier. Darren came home and I vented about the day and eventually I did make it back to the gym, so that's a small victory.

Gotta have the bad days to appreciate the good I guess. I hope my brick training today goes more smoothly.

Mom's Toolbox

What were you like as a first time mom?

So Amy over at Mom's Toolbox asked her readers to participate and share what it was like to be a first time Mom. She shared it wasn't the most natural of transitions for her, which you (or at least I) rarely hear. Mom's don't like to admit experiencing that challenge, so often it goes unspoken. Needless to say I was pleasantly comforted, because there were times when I felt maybe Mommyhood wasn't for me. Thankfully that mindset has changed. :)

It took me a long time to get attached to my pregnancy. I miscarried in my early 20's and always felt badly about it. Early on it was guilt I felt, like I had done something wrong, but of course I know better now. I think I carried a lot of fear with me too, which kept me distant from that miracle inside my belly.

Anyway, it took me a long time to bond during my pregnancy. I mean, I did all the things new Mom's do with their baby in their baby while in the belly; read to her, play her music, listened to womb sounds, etc. I'd say that once I was about 7 months in I finally relaxed and enjoyed it. Keep in mind too that I was over 35 and considered a high risk pregnancy. I was also and Insulin dependent gestational diabetic and was about 250 lbs. when I got pregnant. Every time I went to the doctor brought up something else to "worry" about so it was hard to keep upbeat!

I had to have a c-section, but I can remember as clear as yesterday walking through the parking lot of the hospital at 5am with my Mom and Husband. I can't even explain how I felt, because I think it was a little of everything, and to the extreme!

Cassie came and I was happy. Seriously... I couldn't even fathom the warmth and love I would feel after she was here. See, I wasn't the most maternal to begin with. Even people at work were remarkably surprised by the "change" they saw in me. I became far more patient and, I guess, more maternal.

Since I got pregnant later than a lot of my friends, I had their experiences to draw on. I took what we approved of and between my Husband and I decided how to approach things. We really are good together when it comes to communicating how we want to address raising our child, and I'm grateful for that. It was nice to grow in that way together.

We were scared at about 4 months old when we were told she might have a form of brain Cancer called Neuroblastoma. She has Anisicoria, which is when 1 pupil is more responsive than the other. In her case they felt that the Anisicoria was either a symptom of this Cancer, or a harmless birth defect. After a few days of testing at UTMB's pediatric oncology unit, we found she was "clear". It was horrible to go through that, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I felt like it was "payback" for whatever it was I had not done right in my early 20's pregnancy. You just momentarily lose all sense of reason and faith when your child's life could be threatened with a fatal illness.

They say you see yourself in your child's eyes, and I totally do. I look at her and see both me and Darren. I see how easily she reflects what we do, so it makes us want to strive to be everything she thinks we are.

In the end, my Daughter makes me a better person everyday. Having her changed me in countless (good) ways. :)

Here's little video I had made celebrating Cassie's "Birth Day". Warning, there is footage of her delivery, via c-section... no blood, "privates", or ick shown. Just giving fair warning. LOL

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Pearland Y Practice Sprint Tri

After taking the Tour de Pearland to find the Y -- seriously we drove around the entire city we made it, we finally found the facility. We learned it is always prudent to verify directions before leaving. LOL

This sprint tri was a practice tri the Y sponsored to which they invited members of Bay Area Multisport to participate. It was a 300 m swim, 9 mile bike and 5k. Maybe there were 40 people there, tops. You had the option of the long or short course. Elysha and I did the long. It was nice, casual and very un-intimidating.

The swim was in a pool. They seed you by swim time for 300 m. I told them 10 minutes, but the last time I timed myself it was 8:30... I just never did a pool tri before so I gave myself some extra time. The guy ahead of me was slow, then fast, then slow, then fast again... it was annoying because either I was on his feet or he was on mine. Guess it goes with the fun .

I exited the pool and had a little issue with my sunglasses getting knotted in my helmet. Some chick was screaming, "you don't need shirts... you don't socks". I'm over the shirt thing, but I still need socks, lady.

Anyway, after a fabulous rolling mount (I even surprised myself and don't think I could do it again) the bike course offered a headwind heading out on the loop and tailwind on the way back, so that was nice. I tried to stay as aerodynamic in form as I could to take advantage of the wind. I think I hit a highspeed of 20.5 on the ride. averaged about 16 mph, I think. Pretty good for me.

The run. I was dreading this. Earlier I felt some twinges in my knee and back. Before I left I stretched on the foam roller and stretched some more after I got there. My back felt pretty tight and hurt just a little this morning; enough to make me wonder how things were going to go.

I started running and I was feeling good. I realized I had run the first mile straight and not a peep out of my back... Not only that, but I had not taken a walking break! It seemed I found a rhythm... although slow, it worked for me. Before I knew it I had run the 2nd mile without a walking break either... I was determined now to run the last mile. Which I did. :) Soooooo happy for me. Plus, my back didn't bother me at all on this run -- I mean it feels tighter than leather pants on Cher, post-race, but it did not hurt on the run the way it did on the treadmill on Friday night.

My goal going in was to finish in 90 minutes or less. I think I finished in 91, according to my watch.

Where to improve:
  • Always use the checklist
  • Verify directions to race site!
  • Continue to train, because it's working -- Imagine that!
  • Get some Yankz.
  • Don't forget towel to dry feet! Had soggy feet in my cycling shoes... had to take socks off for the run.
  • Unlock helmet strap and place upside down on handlebars.
What was good:
  • Best 5K ever; consisten running, no walking breaks.

Here's the Deal...

A quick post before I'm off to a practice sprint tri this morning...

Wednesday night I was feeling all good, bad and ugly about my brick. I had a great ride and my best pace ever on my run. Again, not stellar by any stretch of the imagination, but relative to my level, awesome.

Later that evening, I sad down on the couch and something didn't feel right. I sat up and a pain in my lower back took my breath away. Ouch! It hurt so badly it kept me awake that night; I could not even roll over in bed without seeing stars.

I wasn't stupid; Thursday I rested. I didn't do anything.

Friday I had to do a 3 mile run and 45 minute swim. I got the first 2 miles of the run in, but the last half mile killed me. My back started acting up again. I wound up having to walk the last mile of the 3. What was worse was I could not walk more than 2.5 mph without holding on, or my back whipped at me!

I hit the hot tub for a while and sat right in front of the jet; it felt some better. I came home and stretched my back on the foam roller and it felt just a tad better. I woke up the next morning (Saturday) and it felt tight, but nothing like the day before. I stretched in the morning and night, but it's still there.

We had a company softball game on Saturday and I went. I ran the bases without issue... in fact, didn't even feel my back. On this day I overextended my knee on the run and it the ground with a straight leg... kinda knocked my knee out of whack! Dangit!!! It's a little sore... not terrible compared to my back! We won, by the way. :) Mommy hit a double and triple! Not bad for someone who hasn't swung a bat in, oh, almost 15 years I guess. :)

I'm going to whine for a minute here, because it pisses me off. And all of this is rhetorical -- I realize there are logical reasons, okay? No need to 'splain them to me, Ricky

I mean really... who takes tap, step aerobics and is totally active at 347 lbs. and doesn't have back or knee problems? Me! Why is it at my old weight I did things injury free. Now, when I am approaching my best in life, I get plagued by these kinds of injuries? I mean if they happened when I was heavier I would expect them now, you know? But I didn't then, so I'm like WTF now?!? It's maddening... especially when your biggest competitor is your self.

Waaaaah
/whine

So I realize I'm older now. I train harder. It's bound to happen. I just hope it's something that just needs a visit to the chiropractor (which I'm going to do next week) and some daily PT. This is tri season, dammit -- and I'm just gettin' into it!