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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nathan's "Greatness"

Just came across a video by Nike.  The Jogger, in the  "Find Your Greatness" series.  Nathan is a 12 year old from London, OH.  He is overweight and they have him jogging in the video.  Take a look here:
The first thing I thought was.  Yay, Nike!  It's about time we see some images that inspire kids to move.  Not just any kids though -- those kids who think they can't even begin to start!  This image, in my opinion, is so much better for our kids!  These are the kids who really need to be moving, playing, jumping.

It just might make them think, "If Nathan can, then why can't I?"

And if you get them thinking, "Why can't I?" and they start to believe it's possible, you get them DOING.  

It also made wonder how I would have received this message as a teenager.  I was constantly doing things I was told I was too "fat" or "overweight" to do.  It was a limiting factor over everything I wanted to do in my teenage years.  I never saw anyone like me doing the things I wanted and tried to do.  My family only saw the world through the eyes of a dancer... these were the messages I received:

"You have natural ability to dance but, you don't have a dancer's body."
"You need to lose weight."

"You can try out for the [insert any number of sports here] team, but you won't make the team,
"You are too heavy."

"It won't matter how good you can sing, you'll never land *that* part."
"You're too heavy; you don't *look* the part."

"You can audition for that scholarship, but they probably won't take you because of how you look."
"You need to lose weight to find a job after college."

"You can't ride a bike that far."
"Are you crazy?  You're much too heavy."

"You can't do a triathlon."
"Your weight will make it soooo hard"

Kids should be encouraged to move before it's too late and before they've grown accustomed to coming home from school and hitting the couch with the remote.  Kids need supportive reinforcement when they start to move, so they feel good about themselves and positive about the experience, so that they want to return to it later.

I can remember starting to jog when I was in High School.  I don't recall what got me started -- probably being told again how I needed to lose weight.  Anyway, one day, I threw on some shorts, sneakers and shirt and began to run around the neighborhood pretty routinely, which is kind of funny since I pretty much have a love-hate relationship with running now.  When I started running though, I had no support from my family in the way of encouragement.  Granted running wasn't their thing... they just didn't have time to understand anything outside of Dance.  I honestly don't think they knew how to be supportive of anything outside of the Arts.

My point is, a little encouragement goes a long way.  A bit of positive reinforcement sends a message to the kid what they're doing is a good thing, no matter how awkward they might feel or look.


The images we're bombarded with are of accomplished athletes with beautiful, athletic, bodies!  Kudos to them for bringing their bodies to that point. It just cannot the short-term goal for some kids who have a long way to go -- if it's even a realistic long-term goal at all.

They need to hear, you CAN move.  You can play sports.  Everyone starts somewhere.  Everyone feels awkward to start, but with practice you improve.  You get fitter. You will be healthier.  

Kids need to see more kids like Nathan, finding their Greatness, no matter how imperfect or unlikely an athlete they may be.  I know this, because I was a "Nathan."

"Crazy" Brick

Every several weeks CC (aka Cranky Coach) has his athletes do a "Crazy" brick.  it's a workout that pushes you beyond where you think you are.  Beyond what will come easy.  It's good for your mind.  :)  I get almost as excited for CB day, as I do for a race.  Almost.

I'm back to training but sessions are short... most are 45 minutes... maybe an hour here and there on the bike.  Certainly nothing long, and with good reason, since I'm not racing long this year and still recovering from knee surgery.

This past Saturday I had a 30 minute run/1 hour bike/30 minute run.  Doesn't sound like much, but with my longest workout being 1 hr in the last 3 months, it's a challenge.  Add the heat as the cherry on this sufferfest sundae. :)

My running is still slow, but I can still tell it's improving and is still improved over last Summer's hotter runs.  I'm between a 12:55 and 13:05 pace.  I'm not doing any speedwork until cleared by the doc, but I know once I can do that again things will get better.  I feel slight fatigue in the knee that had the surgery and a lot of tweaking in the knee that didn't have a problem -- nothing that doesn't work itself out after a bit of running easy to warm-up.

I was determined to make CB day a big step towards recovery. It was also going to help me determine what to do for River Cities Triathlon this weekend!  I know I won't be having any PR's, but at the least I would get an idea of how it will feel going in. 

My pre-brick breakfast was some eggs with English peas (for my carb).  I know... sounds weird, but I was out of my sweet potatoes.  The peas worked though -- they might have been even easier on my stomach!  I did eat breakfast a little late considering my start, but it didn't seem to impact me too terribly.

I made the first :30 run without any walk breaks, Yay!  I just kept a nice steady pace and practiced from; keeping my legs under me and head up.  2.28 miles.  HR was a bit high, but to be expected with the heat/humidity.  I used EFS on my run (it's Gluten free, btw.). 

I had my bike all setup and ready to go.  I hopped on the bike quickly and headed off for my hour ride.  The first 15 mins was a warm-up and the next 30 was supposed to be Oly effort.  I finished the last 45 mins at Oly effort, since I was feeling good.  I wanted to also make sure I could handle some intensity, since there are lots of little rollers at RC Tri.  I felt really good on the bike, and rode a 17.4 average pace.  Considering I took my time during the warm-up, I'm feeling pretty good about the bike.  I also used EFS on the bike.  HR high again...bah. 

Run 2 was supposed to be 30 minutes, going a longer distance than the first run.  Yes, I have a coach, but I had it in my head I was going to do 5K, no matter how long it took because that's how far I have to run after the bike this Sunday.  I mapped out a loop, which I thought was 5K, but it was just a tad short!  I did 2.9 miles in 39 mins with 2 super short walk breaks, one I had no choice (traffic) and the other I took 30 seconds at the half way point. After the run, I was kicking myself for not doing the couple 10ths of a mile to get 5K... but damn, by this time it was super hot!

My calves were super sore post brick.  I'm having a problem with what I think is the gastrocnemius... it's deep inside and it gets super tight!  It was so sore within 30 minutes of finishing the brick!  I stood on the steps to stretch while my Husband rolled it with the "stick!"  It hurt soooo good.  All I can do is try to stretch it well before and after, and pray it doesn't turn into PF.  Ugh!  I

So all-in-all I'm feeling okay about going to River Cities and having a good time.  If adrenaline serves me well, I could have an okay run as opposed to a walk like I planned. It's a long drive home, so I don't need to be stupid about it, but I can go in knowing I will be able to survive it.  I'm happy to be going -- I love this race and I'm grateful I don't have to miss it. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

On Hunger...

Not hunger for food.  For racing.

It's been a recurring theme and I can't ignore it any longer.  a few weeks ago I was reading GoSonja.  She had received an amazing anniversary gift from her Husband -- some chit-chat time with Dave Scott.  Long story short, but you really should go read it for your self, Dave pegged her lack of hunger for racing for her less-than-what-she-desired race performance.   

A few days later I'm reading a Lifehacker feed about changing the way you make your decisions.   Let's just say it involves a lot of "Hell, yeah!"  and not settling for "Eh, okay."  Go read that one too.

Then I read a race report from another favorite blogger, Mary IronMatron.  Her 5th Ironman race at Lake Placid. Amazing, right?  But she wasn't thrilled with her performance.  She wasn't happy during her race.  She didn't have fun.  She realized she wasn't "hungry" for it.

I was super hungry and super scared when it came time to do my first 70.3 race.  Remember that old television program, "Scared Straight"?  For a non-competitive-middle-of-the-packer, who isn't a great runner to begin with, a 70.3 is kind of like a season of "Scared Straight."  You know that every second of training counts and you don't let one day go by with a yellow box in TrainingPeaks because you've trained less than planned.  You're scared, sh*tless that if you miss just 1 minute of training, you'll tank the whole race!  Now, training more than planned is perfectly okay, because, well, you know that will make me better in the end.  Right?  NOT.  (Lots of lessons learned there, but that's a whole 'nother post).

When I decided to do my first 70.3 race, I was all "Hell, yeah, I wanna do this!" "I gotta do this!"  The Redman 70.3 race came and went and I can say I was absolutely thrilled!  Aside from getting sick on the run I had fun, I enjoyed the race.  Of course with my time being so slow, I knew, before I crossed the finish, before I even reveled in what I had accomplished, that I would promptly find the nearest Internet access, and I would sign up for another 70.3!

Yep.  That's what I did.  Signed for Galveston 70.3.

Now, to be fair to myself, I *wanted* to do Galveston -- because I had something to prove to myself.  Admittedly there was a small part of me that was hesitant.  That little (usually wise) voice in my head  whispering, "Maybe it's not the right time?"  "Maybe you need to work on your running more?"  "Maybe get your health issues in check FIRST?"  Of course I ignored that voice and did it anyway.  I chased cut-offs all day long.  I couldn't relax and have fun or genuinely enjoy it until I knew I'd officially finish, which wasn't until I was more than 5K into the run.  I compare it to racing with a gun pointed to your head all day long. 

My Galveston run was slightly better, in that it was so consistent the whole way through, which led my thinking, "Oh yeah... I gotta do another because I know it could be even better!"  "I'm going back to Redman damnit!"  "I have business to take care of there!" 

Just like that, with a couple clickitty-clicks on that dang ol' Internet I'm signed up for my 3rd 70.3, where I returned to Redman.

I did finally start to listen to that voice in my head. I made a concerted effort to take care of  health issues -- I learned I raced those previous two 70.3 races with Iron stores as low a 7 -- yes, a single digit! My hormones were all jacked up -- between severe Anemia, Thyroid, and Prolactin, my body was in a constant fight with itself!  Add to that the stress of training and I was just begging for disaster.

I did make health improvements, but not all was 100% corrected.  In spite of the incomplete progress, I was determined for Redman.  If I'm being completely honest though, I didn't have that "Hell, yeah!" feeling.  I even blogged repeatedly that I was looking for my "mojo" and knew I left my "race buzz" over there, but couldn't find it! Looking back, the fear of failure; the worst possible thing for me is to race and not see improvement in some fashion.  Which is silly, since I have so much low-hanging fruit that there is always improvement somewhere! 

Galveston 70.3 was the next race coming up in my backyard, making it a hard race to say "No" to, but I did.  I said, "No." and stuck to my guns.  There might have been a few minutes here and there during a training outing with the club that I thought I might regret it.  However when race day came, I was completely at peace with my choice.  I was happy as a clam to volunteer that day!  I knew I had my first race of the season coming up a few weeks later.

I was so ready for Kemah Olympic.  My running had improved by over 2 minutes pace per mile and my swimming and biking had been coming along nicely.  This race was a definite "Hell, yeah!" for me.  I wanted this so bad, however I returned from the bike puking (rough swim waters and ingested too much salt water) and left on the run still puking, then collapsing.   It wasn't to be my day.  You live to race another day, right?  The point is, it didn't matter how badly I felt -- I wanted it so bad, that nothing was going to stop me.  That is until they scraped me up off the pavement. 

I've said this before, but we as triathletes are constantly driven to do the next best, biggest, baddest race out there.  If we're not on our own bandwagon, we've jumped someone else's and we ride their post-race high until we're registered for something.  Anything!  I think we are convinced that is how we are supposed to "live the dream."  If we're not killing our selves, we're not.  What is it that makes us feel like super-heroes who are above the complications of real-life, over-training and injury?

The majority of us are not pro, or even elite athletes.  We may or may not have full-time jobs and families.  I have to remind myself it's okay to take a break!  It's okay to say, "No." to a race that I'm not 100% "hungry" for.  It's okay to wait until hunger returns and give it a wholehearted "Hell, yeah!" and not be fueled off the hunger of other athletes signing up for races around you.  In the end, if you really love it, you'll go back to it.  Period.  End of story.

Personally, I think there should be a law that triathletes who finish a 70.3 or 140.6 race should not be allowed on the Internet for 30 days post race.   That also may apply to those who "sherpa" these 70.3 and 140.6 finishers as well. Just sayin'.

It doesn't take too long to feel the hunger return.  I'm about 6 weeks post-op on my knee surgery, and really for the last 3 to 4 months I could not do nearly what I was, and had to pull out of Hyvee Nationals.  The good thing is, I've taken a needed break, but I can feel myself getting itchy.  I'm going to River Cities with a "Hell, yeah" -- but also with the realization that I am still recovering, and won't be "racing" -- it will be a fun training day, and I'll get through it, having fun doing something I love.

This IS all part of my journey.  Every up.  Every down.  Every fall.  Every recovery.  Every failure.  Every success.  I need to keep in mind the kind of 140.6 race I want to experience.  I don't have any dreams of finishing a sub 10 hour race, but I do dream of enjoying the day, as much as possible, and know my training has brought me to the point of not worrying about cut-offs.  To the point where I can cross the finish line and realize what I've done while standing on my own two feet with a stupid ear-to-ear grin on my face, and not be scooped-up off the pavement or found horizontal in a medical tent with a DNF.  

This was all kind of a ramble, but in any case, here's to taking time to really enjoy the journey to achieving my ultimate goal (and keeping it fun too!)

"Hell, yeah!"
River Cities
Clear Lake International - Relay (Swim)
Houston Olympic
Katy Firethorn





Monday, July 23, 2012

"Don't Quit" The Original

I was reading an article my Husband sent me on "How Parents Can Best Support Their Kids Athletics."  It pretty much reiterated what I had already known -- learned pretty much from my years spent at my Mom's dance studio.  she never wanted the parents hawking over the kids while in class because it always created confusion for the child as to who the authoritative figure was for the 90 minutes they were dancing.  In this article the coach said she was forced to learn this poem, "Don't Quit", before she could participate in swimming.  I thought that was a great idea.  


Cassie had a fabulous swim meet this weekend.  Granted she has some low hanging fruit right now, but she did so much better than at past meets... and no DQ's.  She fell right into the groove and kept telling us how she was "relaxed" and that's why she was swimming faster.  LOL  Ummm, she's 7.  Haha!

The Don't Quit poem is based on a famous poem which was written many years ago. The author of this poem is unknown. Sadly, in recent years a number of people have claimed ownership of the poem and some have even claimed to have written it themselves!

   When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
    When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
    When the funds are low and the debts are high,
    And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
    When care is pressing you down a bit,
    Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

    Life is queer with its twists and turns,
    As every one of us sometimes learns,
    And many a failure turns about,
    When he might have won had he stuck it out;
    Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
    You may succeed with another blow.

    Often the goal is nearer than,
    It seems to a faint and faltering man,
    Often the struggler has given up,
    When he might have captured the victor's cup,
    And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
    How close he was to the golden crown.

    Success is failure turned inside out--
    The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
    And you never can tell how close you are,
    It may be near when it seems so far,
    So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
    It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

    - Author unknown

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Hardest Part...

...is not crossing the Finish, it's showing up to the Start line." 

I read that somewhere, can't remember where, but it always stays with me. Today the gun went off at the Start for me. I went for my fist run, post knee surgery! I was going to head to the track to run on a softer surface, but after going to bed late and oversleeping, I didn't have the 30 minutes to spare for the drive there and back. I decided I would simply hit the pavement in my neighborhood -- because Ironman waits for no one!. It was a slow going jog and I was a bit nervous at first. I did a couple of 5/1 intervals and then asked myself, "Why am I walking?"

I mean, I was doing fine. Yes, there was a bit of soreness, but that's to be expected! So after that little motivational chat with myself, I continued and ran the remaining 1.5 miles, for a total of about 2.25 miles.

This past weekend was also my first bike ride since my surgery and bike crash! I went an hour and 20 mins. I felt good. I could have felt a ton better, had I taken the ride a little more seriously and ate before leaving, but I didn't feel that great and saw no reason to push it. Although after I was out there, it was evident I could have used the nutrition.

Folks, don't skip breakfast.  Ever. :)

So I'm going to give a brick a try tomorrow. Just a 30 minute bike and 30 minute run. There's reportedly a loop through a quiet neighborhood that's pretty safe that I'm going to give a try. There's also a run path (soft ground) for me to run on.

I've decided I'm still going to go to River Cities and simply do the best that I can.  My best might be last Athena, but I'll have a decent swim and an okay bike (I'm not ready for any kind of hills and there are little rollers here). I'll have to walk a portion of the run through the wooded trails, but it will make for a good, fun training day. Plus, it might work out that I get to see my BFF too! That would be an added bonus.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Never Enough Backers (or Cowbell!)

So far Bia's progress has been pretty darned impressive.  With 17 hours left they have just a smidge of $82k to raise to make this a real deal!  Swim Bike Mom backed this product to the point of doing a 5K match to backers!

Why am I backing Bia?   The reason I back it is because it's technology and technology doesn't move forward without a little nudge.  I think the features of this watch are up and coming and will be the standard down the road, but until the technology is out there, used tried and true, progress can't happen.  It's how progress works -- products are developed the competition starts, and from there may the best product win!

What I love about Kickstarter projects is that you can be a part of that journey.  Even for  just $1!  Every dollar counts in these last 17 hours, but bump it up to $20 and you'll get a free, additional band with your Bia watch (should you order it).  Go $40 and they send you a super cute Bia tech running shirt now and a free band if you order a Bia sports watch.  There incentives increase the higher you the amount, you get the picture.  If you've already backed them, but you can't resist being officially titled a "True Multisport Bad Ass", then go "manage" your amount and increase your contribution!  Remember, untless they reach the $400,000.00 mark in the next 17 hours, not a penny is charged to your electronic payment. Even a penny short, and the project is done.

Friends, we are in the Ironman stretch; 17 hours to finish and reach the $400k mark.  We need more Backers... and we always need more cowbell!  :)

From a previous post: 
Cheryl and Sylvia, of BIA Sport are trying to achieve one of their goals. They have developed a women's specific GPS Trainer/HR Monitor that they would like to bring to a reality. Here's a video:

First, let me preface this by saying I have no partnership with BIA, of any kind. In fact, to Cheryl and Sylvia (the founders) don't even "virtually" know me!* I simply think they have a great idea in their product and after reading what I consider trusted reviews on Swim Bike Mom and the "King of All Reviewers" DC Rainmaker, I had to back it myself.  Cheryl and Sylvia have turned to Kickstarter to raise initial funds of $400,000 since coming upon challenges garnering support for the idea.  As Cheryl says, it is kind of hard to find female "angel" investor who is also marathon runner!  It's a lofty goal, but they're pulling out all the stops to make this watch a reality in the retail market. Here is a great interview with Cheryl, explaining all that they've done and come up against through their journey. It's not for not trying, that's for sure.  I love the spirit and passion!


What I love most about this product is that it targets athletes just like me. MOP'ers (Middle of the Packers) who race because they absolutely can't think of anywhere else they'd rather be, at 5:15am on a Saturday or Sunday morning, but in transition setting up for a race.

We are the athletes who try to be just a little better than we were the day before.  Sharing our stories, triumphs and tribulations are exactly what keeps us going.  Having the data helps us see the improvements, even if we're not exactly crossing the Finish first or placing in our age groups. Products that deliver performance AND are easy to use, are invaluable!

Having a community of other women athletes where we share motivation is really how lifestyles change for the better... for the long-term.We're in such a fast-paced culture now that we seemingly need to have a reason to do what is right for our bodies -- I believe the product, in conjunction with the community could be life-changing for some, but will definitely impact many.

With that said, the product is pretty darned.... well, pretty!




From what I've read, it's doesn't just feel great to wear, but it's also simple to use and has some great features.  It's got one  button instead of 7 -- they compare it to iPod functionality.  You can synch Wifi to an online training log.  And I love that it is ANT+, and therefore compatible with many different devices used in training -- like maybe the power meter I will have one day in the future! They say it quickly connects to satellite -- which I would totally appreciate, since I've lost count of how many times I've stood in my driveway on a cloudy day waiting for a connection.  Or how many times I've fudged the buttons during a race and wound up with no data or guidance.    (Okay, I admit, some of that is just plain ol' user error!)

Honestly, when I first read about it I thought, "Too good to be true."  I thought it couldn't possibly be a robust product, and that in the end would not hold up to the Garmin.  A few weeks later I checked out their profile and the one of the first things I read catches my eye. "This is not a shrink it and pink it product."  Their product team brings experience from Apple, Nike, Jawbone, and Zoot! Even if you're just the least bit intrigued, check out their Kickstarter profile for more information, pictures and details functionality.

Please consider tossing a few bucks their way so they can fund their initial investment.  They even have some thoughtful awards for different levels of donations. What would it take really?  Wearing the only slightly leaky goggles for another month?  Maybe drop a month's worth of expensive lattes (and maybe some weight too!)?  And do we really need another pair of blingy flip-flops?  Yes, Yes.  I know they're cute, but Sylvia and Cheryl are "this close."

If you were "this close" to your idea becoming reality, wouldn't you want support too?

Make your donation here, at their Kickstarter Profile:  http://tinyurl.com/cwpaoag

By the way "Bia" is Goddess of Force and Power... younger sister of Nike. True story.

*Okay, they know me "virtually" now. :)

Monday, July 09, 2012

Dreams Don't Work Unless You do!


I'm officially back to "work."  as of Friday.  I went to Masters and did a 30 minute swim and felt pretty good.  Knee was a little fatigued, but that's okay.  It felt so good to be back doing something... ANYthing.

I had decided to take the day off and get some things done.  After swim I had the opportunity to go to b'fast with some of the girls, and that was fun.  Dang, they all make me wish I was a teacher who had Summers off!  Hubs joked that I was taking the vacation day to train.  3 months ago, maybe, but this come back will be smart and slow. 

On Saturday I hit the elliptical.  It was supposed to be just 30 minutes.  Ordinarily I feel like a rock-star on the elliptical, taking 2-3 minutes off my normal pace, however it was pretty sad how it was kicking my azz. No.  Really.  It was.  I was almost dying on these new Precors, that have the ski arms, so you are pushing and pulling the entire run. Anyway, I was determined to stay on it for 5k, which I did and then did 10 minutes of the elliptical backwards, just to get the reverse motion in too. Day 2 done.  Yay!

Today I made it back to Masters.  It was a good swim.  Knee was fatigued by the end, but then I also swim 1:20 and did 2300m.  400m of no breathers gave me a break from kicking, so I decided to hang for the rest of the session and used just the last 10 minutes to get my rehab exercises in.

So I have another 6 weeks, at which time the Ortho will do all the twist and bend tests on my knee to make sure I'm good to go.  Right now though I have license to swim, bike and run at 1/3 the volume and build 15 minutes a week from there.  so my race schedule is a little different -- here's what I'm thinking:

8/5    River Cities (won't really "race" the run since knee will still be recovering, but I'll be out there!
8/25  Clear Lake International (I'll be relaying; doing the swim.)
9/2    Summertime Blues (Just for fun... depends on what Ortho says on 8/15)
9/15  Southwyck Olympic (tentative )
09/30 Memorial Hermann Houston Olympic at Towne Lake ("A" Race)
10/28 Katy Triathlon at Firethorne  

Enough about me.  I'm not the only one working on dreams...

Cheryl and Sylvia, of BIA Sport are trying to achieve one of their goals. They have developed a women's specific GPS Trainer/HR Monitor that they would like to bring to a reality. Here's a video:








First, let me preface this by saying I have no partnership with BIA, of any kind. In fact, to Cheryl and Sylvia (the founders) don't even "virtually" know me!* I simply think they have a great idea in their product and after reading what I consider trusted reviews on Swim Bike Mom and the "King of All Reviewers" DC Rainmaker, I had to back it myself.  Cheryl and Sylvia have turned to Kickstarter to raise initial funds of $400,000 since coming upon challenges garnering support for the idea.  As Cheryl says, it is kind of hard to find female "angel" investor who is also marathon runner!  It's a lofty goal, but they're pulling out all the stops to make this watch a reality in the retail market. Here is a great interview with Cheryl, explaining all that they've done and come up against through their journey. It's not for not trying, that's for sure.  I love the spirit and passion!


What I love most about this product is that it targets athletes just like me. MOP'ers (Middle of the Packers) who race because they absolutely can't think of anywhere else they'd rather be, at 5:15am on a Saturday or Sunday morning, but in transition setting up for a race.

We are the athletes who try to be just a little better than we were the day before.  Sharing our stories, triumphs and tribulations are exactly what keeps us going.  Having the data helps us see the improvements, even if we're not exactly crossing the Finish first or placing in our age groups. Products that deliver performance AND are easy to use, are invaluable!

Having a community of other women athletes where we share motivation is really how lifestyles change for the better... for the long-term.We're in such a fast-paced culture now that we seemingly need to have a reason to do what is right for our bodies -- I believe the product, in conjunction with the community could be life-changing for some, but will definitely impact many.

With that said, the product is pretty darned.... well, pretty!




From what I've read, it's doesn't just feel great to wear, but it's also simple to use and has some great features.  It's got one  button instead of 7 -- they compare it to iPod functionality.  You can synch Wifi to an online training log.  And I love that it is ANT+, and therefore compatible with many different devices used in training -- like maybe the power meter I will have one day in the future! They say it quickly connects to satellite -- which I would totally appreciate, since I've lost count of how many times I've stood in my driveway on a cloudy day waiting for a connection.  Or how many times I've fudged the buttons during a race and wound up with no data or guidance.    (Okay, I admit, some of that is just plain ol' user error!)

Honestly, when I first read about it I thought, "Too good to be true."  I thought it couldn't possibly be a robust product, and that in the end would not hold up to the Garmin.  A few weeks later I checked out their profile and the one of the first things I read catches my eye. "This is not a shrink it and pink it product."  Their product team brings experience from Apple, Nike, Jawbone, and Zoot! Even if you're just the least bit intrigued, check out their Kickstarter profile for more information, pictures and details functionality.

Please consider tossing a few bucks their way so they can fund their initial investment.  They even have some thoughtful awards for different levels of donations. What would it take really?  Wearing the only slightly leaky goggles for another month?  Maybe drop a month's worth of expensive lattes (and maybe some weight too!)?  And do we really need another pair of blingy flip-flops?  Yes, Yes.  I know they're cute, but Sylvia and Cheryl are "this close."

If you were "this close" to your idea becoming reality, wouldn't you want support too?

Make your donation here, at their Kickstarter Profile:  http://tinyurl.com/cwpaoag

By the way "Bia" is Goddess of Force and Power... younger sister of Nike. True story.

*Okay, they know me "virtually" now. :)

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Cassie's Race!


Cassie did a local triathlon sponsored by the Kiwanis Club.  They have a whole series of Kids races throughout the Houston area.  She had tons of fun  and did well.  She's downright giddy on race days.  She gets right up and ready, faster than ever, as if just rising from the bed was a race too! 

We arrived at the race site and she was enamored with the red sky. She insisted the red sky was good luck, in spite of the old saying, "Red sky by morn, sailors be warned.."   She stood by her opinion though and believed it was good luck.  :)


She got into the water for a warmup -- she must have did a 300m warm up for a 50m swim!  LOL  She was having a great time and I could tell she really wanted to be there.  She's improving so much and I get inspired when she gets something in her head that she wants to make better and does. 




This was the first race where she was 1st out on the swim! She was so proud!  In fact when they started it didn't even look like her swimming!  She was aggressive, attacking the water like a more seasoned swimmer.  Cassie and another girl took a quick lead then she just kept increasing her distance between 1st and 2nd.  I thought for sure she'd slow down 2/3's of the way out, but she didn't.  She stayed strong!


She spent a little too much time in transition, and gave all the kiddos she beat out of the water a chance to leave on the bikes ahead of her.  No matter though -- she was still smiling and having a great time.  She headed out on the bike nice and steady, no wrecks!  She made a super fast transition to the run and pushed it the entire way!  I think she was surprised by how good she felt too! 


After she finished (13 minutes), she ran into a couple of kids from swim team and also had a friend of  still out on the course. 


Cassie was still full of energy and ran out to the bike course to cheer her friendon as she rode.


Then the swim team friends and Cassie ran out on the run course to help run their friend in.  It was soooo sweet.  I love the spirit. 
 

In the end, I think Cassie was really hoping to place and get a trophy. I think taking 2nd place in her very first race last year set the bar a little high! When they called out 3rd, 2nd then 1st, I saw her suck her lip and hold back the tears.  I looked at her and said, "Look what you did today on your swim!  You were amazing!!"  "That was a first, and you should be proud."  I also pointed out that she didn't wreck on her bike (unlike the last race) and that she pushed her run harder than I've ever seen.  She nodded in agreement, but was still sad for a few minutes.  :(

I gently explained to her, if she wants to "place" that she has to work on the weaknesses, and the rewards will come in time.  She asked me what she could do better, and truthfully the biggest improvement she could make would be her transition from swimming to biking.  I explained to her that in the time she took to get her sneakers on, all the kids behind her on the swim left on their bike (she was in transition for more than 2 minutes). Immediately she said, "Making a better transition is my goal, now, Mommy."  The fact that she "got it" so quickly was so awesome.  She's one tough princess. 

In this life you don't get anything handed to you.  I think she'll learn those lessons through her triathlon racing and swim team.  I don't really see the point of organized sports where they award everyone essentially for just signing up. Where's the lesson about working hard to achieve goals in that? 

As hard as it is to see, because it really does break my heart inside, I'd rather console my little athlete in her disappointment, knowing that she is learning invaluable life lessons while still having fun.  :)

  
Happy 4th of July!