Monday, January 23, 2012

Get the Party Started!

Well, this week starts my "official" triathlon season training, with my first race being the Memorial Hermann Kemah Triathlon.  It is an Olympic distance race.  That's my focus this year... nothing long. 

Each discipline of this particular race has it's own unique challenges. For the swim they take you out on a boat and drop you a mile out in the bay, where you jump off the boat and swim to shore.  Doesn't sound like a big deal, but it freaks me out a little.  Did this swim as a relay last year, which is why I decided to do the whole race this year.  The bike -- there's always the wind on the Gulf coast and for the Run, it's up and over the Kemah bridge for a 10k.

I lifted last Friday, WOD'd at CFBA on Saturday, did a 3 hour "Mad Spin" on Sunday, and made it to Masters this morning.  I'm off to a running start.

I'm starting out with a little nagging pain.  Seems my gastroc muscle in my calf has a lot to say to me lately.  Grrrr

As I've said before, I'm looking forward to this shorter season.  It will give me time to get healthy and more time for m family, who have been so awesome about letting my follow my 70.3 goals the last two years.   Darren is training for his first half marathon and Cassie starts training for her triathlons.  We'll be a busy family through the Spring/Summer.

My awesome Chiro posted these quotes on her FB page -- they're from program called Whole9 -- a Paelo nutrition program:

"If chasing performance is costing you your health, your performance better be paying the bills."
Yeah, this helps me keep my goals in perspective, for sure!
Here's to a healthy training and racing season!  
Are you racing?  What's your first race?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The REAL Thursday 13

I am not sure what exactly happened, but I posted a TT from last year as today's... Hmmm.  Seems my cut and paste skills need some help!

So here's there real TT I wanted to publish!  13 of my most favorite quotes:

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”

"As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back"

"The best way to get what you want is to be great at what you love. Like a champ the second you become cocky is the second you believe you are good enough and good is never enough."

"Lif e is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So love the ones who treat you right, and forget about the ones that don't. Believe that everything happens for a reason. If it changes your life, then let it. Nobody said this life would be easy, they just promised it would all be worth it."

"I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you can appreciate them when they're right, you believe less so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."

"If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I will help you become that."

"I choose to live by choice not by chance,
to make changes not excuses,
to be motivated not manipulated,
to be useful not be used, 
to excel not compete.
I choose self-esteem not self-pity,
I choose to listen to my inner voice not the random opinion of others."

"Nobody but you is responsible for your life. You are responsible for your life. What is your life? What is all life? What is every flower, every rock, every tree? Energy. And you’re responsible for the energy you create for yourself, and you’re responsible for the energy that you bring to others.”

“There’s a difference between thinking you deserve to be happy and knowing that you are worthy of being happy. Your being alive makes worthiness your birthright. You alone are enough.”

"I see you. I hear you. And what you say matters to me.”

"Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.”

You are responsible for the energy you create for yourself, and the energy you bring to others. Don't wait for somebody else to save you, to complete you, to fix you.

"I think there is no better way to invite a human being to view their body differently than by inviting them to be an athlete, by revering one's body as an instrument rather than just an ornament. It's a really great way to reorient how you see your body so you can see it as this incredible, awe-inspiring machine that you need to fuel well in order for it to function."

Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

Thursday Thirteen

It's been a while since I've TT'd.  I always think about it, but then never make it a point to do so.

1)  So my mobile phone insurance only replaces my phone with a refurbished phone.  I got my replacement.  It's black, not red, like my initial one.  Bummer.  Does the term *refurb* just leave you thinking, "When is this one gonna break?"

2)  Hubs and Cassinator are on their way to AL to visit Nana.  I have little vacation time, so I am saving my time to take Cassie to NJ before School starts.

3)  I'm spending the weekend training and reclaiming our office.  Painter is coming tomorrow to paint it, but first I have to clean it out. We converted it to a play room for Cassie when she was little, because she wouldn't play upstairs alone.  Now she's all cool with having her own space.

4)  I like to think I'm organized, but man over the last couple years Peter Walsh could teach me a thing or two.

5)  Major network infrastructure upgrade is happening next week.  My first attempt at planning and executing.  While it is not a complex network, I'm still soooo nervous and unsure.

6)  I made the most amazing sandwich for lunch the last couple days:  amazing toasted wheat bread, chicken breast, low fat/low sodium Meunster, tomato, a teaspoon of Briana's Vinegarette and avocado.  Yum!

7)  Registered for Clear Lake Int'l and learned Dave Scott will be there! Also registered for the Galveston Sand Crab 5k/10k night run for me and Darren.  Now that's a date night... huh?  

8)  I made these from Little Bitty Bakes.  They were fabulous.  While hubs didn't like them all that well, others loved them!  The "brown butter" gave it an awesome taste, and I'm not a fan of oatmeal cookies!

9)  When I'm not working on the office, I'll probably be training!  Go figure.

10)  "When people show you who they are believe them."  Seriously.  Dr. Angelou knew what she was talkin' about.

11)  I get extremely touched when people are thoughtful and think of me.  Especially when it comes completely unexpectedly, like in a pair of gifted "I'm with awesome" socks.

12)  Last funny thing I saw posted on Facebook:  "My vagina is a a gaping hole of disappointment"

13)  LOL.  No, really. Although probably not so funny to the author of number 12.

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others’ comments. It’s easy, and fun!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

On Motherhood

Source: i.imgur.com via Amy on Pinterest

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Race Report: 2012 Aramco Half Marathon - Houston

My hip problems (Bursitis!) and illness (Bronchitis!) leading up to the race left me feeling less than positive.  Seems like the last 2 years it's been something, every, single, race.  (Just another reason my decision to cut-back and get healthy makes more sense!) I decided I was going to agree with OC's theory that those mysterious aches and pains you feel race week really do go away just as mysteriously as they appeared.

My only goal for this was to try not to focus on all the negative.  Enjoy the experience (as much as I can enjoy running!) and do my best to stick to my plan.  I suppose in the back of my mind I had lesser expectations because of the state of my health, so maybe it made it easier for me to relax.  Well, relative to how much one can really "relax" before running a half or full marathon?!?  There is too much excitement.  Too much to going on.  It is almost overwhelming. I mean come on!  The 2012 Olympic Trials were right here in Houston.  Everyone was pumped!

For Saturday, MC's athletes were instructed to avoid downtown, and if you just had to go watch, bring chairs.  Off your feet and rest!  I ran a few errands, sat on my arse when I could (I am a Mom, it's not much!) and watched the highlights of the trials on NBC.  I found it surprising how exciting it was for me to watch!  Suffice it to say I teared up watching the 4th place finishers miss their goal of qualifying for the Olympic team representing the USA.  With that, I knew was ready to go.  Not ready go as in qualify for an Olympic team, but I was motivated enough to get through my challenge of 13.1 the next day.:)

One of my friends had texted me a quote earlier in the week that I just couldn't let go of.  It just resonated with me loud and clear.  I decided it would be my "mantra" for the day.  So I made a reminder to serve me during the race. Sharpie + Skin + Portable Motivation.

"You are better than you think you are.
You can do more than you think you can."

I know.  Sounds so easy.  So simple.  Yet I forget this very thing, every race.  It is quite astonishing how quickly old, negative, thoughts from the past flood my mind if I don't stay present.  In my head I hear, "You can't do that, you're too fat."  "Oh, but your weight... you'l never..."  It's quite maddening to me that you can do all this "self-help" to get right in the head, but can crater in an instant.  I can go back there, to that negative place, so easily, and I feel terrible about myself all over again.  Just when you think you've finally taught yourself to be kinder, nicer to yourself, you find out otherwise when faced with a challenge.  "How's that workin' for ya?"  It's freakin' hard work!  I figured by now it would be easier!!

I got a couple night's of good sleep leading up to the race so it was rise and shine as normal.  We met up with our group for bit, then headed out to the Start.  After the gun went off it was about 10 minutes until our Corral was let loose. 

I ran the first mile with a friend, which was the first sign I was starting out way too fast, since I don't run as fast as she does.  LOL  I just figured, "I'll calm down in a bit."  "I'll find MY pace.  Well, the 5K mark came and went (with a PR).  I hit 5 miles in 1:03 (Usually 1:08 - WTH?!?) and the 10K mark came and went (another PR).  I knew I would be toast later.

Sometime after mile 8/9, my Legs started to feel a little heavy and I had been waiting for my Hip to start bugging me (like a RunGirl) so that thought was in my head.  Go away!!!

On Miles 12 and 13, I was tanking with 14+ minute miles; I took a few longer walk breaks when I started having more trouble breathing with my HR around 170-175, which is not normally a problem.  (I don't think I was totally recovered from Bronchitis -- post race I was coughing up a ton of junk.)

The last 500 ft. to the finish I gave it everything I had left and it hurt, I couldn't breath, thought my legs were going to collapse under me. It was awesome! Then I see this guy.  An announcer right in the middle of the chute.  I was like, "Wait a second... I know him?"  "But who the heck is he and why is he right in the middle of the chute?!"  It was Mike Reilly (The voice of Ironman) and he said my name -- MY NAME!  I was thinking, "Wait!  I know that voice?!" I couldn't comprehend until I finished when I turned around and saw him.  I mean I heard him running in, but it just didn't add up until I crossed the finish and looked behind me! It was kind of funny!

Time was 2:52:56 -- just :13 longer than RunGirl 13.1, my last PR.  Not bad a bad day considering all the factors... but man, I know it can be better!

Uh, Mike... you're not off the hook. You and I have a date in the future at a 140.6 event, where you will say my name again. :)

I can honestly say this was the first running race where I actually had a good time at. I mean I enjoyed everything -- every one of the 4 Elvis', the purple fairies, the clowns, the smells, the big foamy-haired cheering squad, the bands, the signs, the smiles and the cheers.  I realized on this run how little I noticed on my first half at Houston, so I'm glad this time was different. It left me wanting to do it again

There's no athlete I know who doesn't labor over their results, slicing and dicing the "What if's?" until they fall asleep at night.  I know if I had done a better job controlling my pace in the beginning, I would have had a better outcome -- If I could have just maintained an easy 13+ min/mile pace, I could have finished right around 2:50 and improved my PR.  Logically, I'm not upset... okay not THAT upset.  :P  I had an awesome time and this run is more proof that I am improving, and that's all I ever ask for of my self, is to improve.  

Here's to getting in the lottery next year and breaking 2:45 :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wanna Race?

I have to write a newsletter blurb for my tri club.  This is just a draft.  

We come together as a triathlon club to train and race together.  We continue to support multisport and honor the challenge of each race we take on.  Training can become extremely competitive, but it is expected that we always, always, conduct ourselves, both individually and as a club, in a manner of good sportsmanship.

It should go without saying that it is an athlete’s responsibility to understand and comply with all USAT rules at any race.  Rules, though at times feel like an inconvenience or even an obstruction to optimum race performance, exist for our safety.  Rules make the race an “even playing field” for all athletes and ultimately a fair, competitive challenge for all.  

As a local triathlon club in the greater Houston area, our logo is known to many.  We all have heard our share of, “Go BAM!” from the sidelines from people who don’t even know us, but just remember our Jerseys!  It’s a good feeling to have so many supporters on a race course simply because we have an easily remembered name that is fun to shout; it's free press!  We have a good reputation for being a friendly, welcoming club that accepts everyone at every level and shares knowledge across the board.  However, with that notoriety comes the responsibility to maintain proper conduct, because it is just as easy to remember BAM! in the not-so-flattering scenarios too. 

As the triathlon season approaches we remind everyone that conducting ourselves in a manner of good sportsmanship is just as important as going for that podium spot.  Character is what you do when no one is watching; it is the combination of mental and ethical traits marking a person.  It is what guides you toward taking honorable action, in spite of the final outcome.  Healthy competition is awesome, but a true “win” is only a win when it is earned on fair, competitive ground.  

When we proudly wear our BAM! jerseys on race day, there is no mistaking the spirit and camaraderie we share – everyone can sense it.  We are not like other clubs… and THAT is precisely what makes our club so inviting to others.    

Train hard.  Be proud.  Be strong. Be competitive.  Be honorable.    

Be the model of a well-rounded triathlete who belongs to a kick-ass club!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Welcome 2012!


No.  Not you Donna -- You stay on the couch!

I'm watching everyone get rev'd about their 2012 goals and here it is day 3 of 2012 and I have yet to log 1 workout.  I'm sick as a Dog... sicker than I've been in a long while. Just a stupid chest cold, but it's kicking my ass.  It's kind of annoying watching everyone so happy and motivated when I want to "play" too!  Bummer.  Boo-hiss.

So instead, like every other blogger,  I'm going to try and reflect on the good that happened this year, and there was plenty more of it than is shown here.  Plenty more.  :)

Maybe this will lift my spirits!  I have to find my race buzzzz.  The Aramco Houston Half Marathon is 12 days away!  I need some excitement!  

My first sub 3 hour (barely) half marathon in the yuckiest of conditions. 

FINALLY landed Oprah tickets for her "Farewell Season" and took 2 friends.   Also got to experience the 3rd largest snow storm to hit Chicago!  Can you say forced vacation?  It was amazing though -- getting to share it with my BFF and another good friend made it all the more special for me!  Remember, triathlon training waits for no one... 3 sets of "Snow Angel Repeats" as dictated by Coach.

The Cassafrass starts training for her first triathlon with Bay Area Multisport's NextGen group!  She had as much fun training as Daddy and I had watching!

Memorial Hermann Galveston 70.3.  Took 42 minutes off the time of my first 70.3 race... and had Chris Lieto waiting for me at the finish (Okay, it was a coincidence!).  This race also marked my first trip to the med tent post-race.  Boo!  It all had a happy ending though!
"OC", Me, Lieto and Melanie (my OC2)

The inaugural Ironman Texas.  No.  I didn't race, but I did have my own little multisport thing going on that day!  My Daughter's recital and Volunteering for IMTX with TriDiva Coco!  Yikes, what a day of back-and-forth between the Woodlands and Galveston, but so worth it on so many levels!  And of course there was also Cassie's' FIRST triathlon to be proud of, and her 2nd place finish! 

1st PR'd for a first sprint distance race and 5K run at Y Freedom and Cassie's 2nd Triathlon!

Sadly, we lost another "TriDiva", Angel.  Really, that was her name .  She is fondly remembered by all.
Spreading her "peace"

Got to meet Dave Scott at the banquet before Clear Lake International.  He got to know our table well through some joking, but he gave me tons of information and things to consider during training and racing. 

Redman Triathlon 70.3 Distance.  PR'd for my 70.3  Wahooo!  Also got to meet a blogging friend, Christy at this race.  Lots of things learned this month too.  Lots of things.

Can you say, WTF?  Yep.  I qualified for the 5150 US Championships.  Crazy stuff, I tell you -- especially from a race a really wasn't up for mentally, to begin with. Annn-nnnd, to top off the month, Cassie had her artwork picked for the 2nd year in a row for CCISD's Imagination Celebration!

Everyone meet the newest Toler!  Otis! He's a Mastiff/Boxer mix we rescued fromt he local SPCA the day before Thanksgiving.  He's become an amazing part of our family.  Then there was the Turkey Day 10K that I PR'd...   Oh, and that *other* race that I earned my first DNS for, Oil Man Texas.  Bummer again, but still valuable lessons learned. 

And while I PR'd again for a half marathon distance at RunGirl 13.1, the best part of December was laying low and spending time with my family and friends, for a good, fun and still relaxing holiday!

Food 1/3/12

1/2 C. Old Fashioned Oatmeal
2 T. Sunflower Seed Butter
1/2 Apple
1/3 C. Half-n-Half for 3 cups of Coffee

.75 oz. Cheddar Cheese
8 triscuits

Chicken "Tacos" on Lettuce Leaves
1/2 Apple

Honey Milk Light (Coffee Flavor)
1 Apple (Med)

More of lunch (probably)

45-60 minute run
Hour of Oly Lifting

Calories:  1560
Carbs: 101g
Protein:  101g
Fat: 41g