Tuesday, June 28, 2011

oh. THAT'S how you are supposed to ride a bike?

Last week we rode bikes with Coach Rob. I've been on the bike twice since then. I'm going to be honest here....I NEVER rode like that before I rode with him. Now? It's all about sweat, burn, and double digits on the hills. I mean, how many ways can you ride a bike? Apparently there is the "easy" way and then there is Coach Rob's way.

Pretty sure this is how steep Coach Rob's hill was
Now I'm paying attention to form, speed, feel, and using "free speed". Man, this bike this is tough! I have learned with exercise the better you get the harder it gets. There is so much to be thinking about. Luckily I'm feeling awesome at clipping in and out, stopping, and being around cars.

I'm almost positive this is what I look like now on the bike
I'm gearing up for the Colonial Beach Sprint Tri. I can NOT wait! I'm feeling much more prepared and ready for this. My husband and kids will be cheering me on from the beach too.

Don't forget about my giveaway!!!

Sam is going to guest blog tomorrow about his race from Sunday. Spoiler alert: He NAILED it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

How to move past a crappy workout and ANOTHER thing about me!

This weeks training went pretty well. Monday is almost always my day off. It also happened to be the last full day of school! It was field day and I spent a big portion of it outside and scored a cherry snow cone.

Tuesday I did a trainer ride and Wednesday was track and pool. Trying to get my track workout proved difficult. I went to the local HS track and it was closed for repairs! I'm glad it was getting fixed, but that really screwed my plans. I told the boys that if they were good I'd get them dunkin donuts (yep, bribery). So, we got donuts and tried the college track. Open, but you had to pay $3 cash. I did not have cash. CRAP! Mason cried when I said we were going home - guess he really wanted to play at the track.

It was starting to get hot and I was not real happy about that. We tried one more high school. Success! I had 4x5 min I pace to do with 2 minutes recovery in between. I was just about finished with number 3 when Sammy grabbed his head and screamed.

Sammy cut his head on the bleachers
He was ok, but there was some blood and lots of tears. The workout was done. Time to go home.

We relaxed in the pool and just chilled.

Then the boys made pizza from scratch for dinner. Yum!

Thursday night we met up with Coach Rob for a bike session. I was nervous. I knew it would be hard and I hadn't been out of the neighborhood clipped in yet. Nervous poo to say the least. His girls watched the boys while we went out. It was great! I didn't die or fall (whew!) and Coach Rob gave me some great pointers. I really gained a lot of confidence with this ride. It was also a huge eye opener - I have NOT been riding this hard on my own! I will have to step it up. There was one hill that got me. Yup. I unclipped and walked up the hill. I was embarrassed, but also scared I would fall over if I couldn't make it up. We did the loop one more time, this time I got up that effin hill! It was slow, but I did it. Go Ann!

This morning I tried a run. I actually made it .5 miles. It was too hot (10am, what was I thinking?) and my Garmin was crapping out, and my piriformis was bothering me. Stupid bad run. Why do those happen? So that I appreciate the good ones? I might have been tired from the ride the night before too. 

Tonight is our pre race dinner for Sam. He is racing the I Love the Tavern Sprint on Sunday with his BFF. I'm so excited to cheer for him. We go down tomorrow and the boys and I have already made our signs.

My "thing about me"? Well, it has proved to be more annoying lately than ever. I have a profound hearing loss in my right ear. I've had it since birth but didn't get diagnosed until high school! If you are behind me odds are I wont hear you (sucks on the bike) and if you are on the right side of me odds are I'm turning towards you and reading lips. I tried hearing aids two different times, but they didn't help much.

How do you cope with crappy workouts or missed workouts?

Don't forget about my giveaway!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tough Chik shirts and PowerBar Giveaway

On Saturday I ordered two ToughChik shirts. I've had my eye on a few of them for a long time and I finally ordered them. Wednesday this was in my mailbox:

The super cute hand written note

My two MUST HAVE shirts

The back of the purple and the front of the blue

I cannot wait to wear these! I will be wearing Triathamom at Sam's sprint tri this weekend. These shirts are so comfortable, they fit well, and they are longer in length - no back or belly show.

Now - for the giveaway. I have two boxes of PowerBars to give away. I love these things. They are great for on the go snacks, bike rides, before/after a swim, race day......anywhere. The flavor is cookies and cream. Yum!

PowerBar Performance Energy bar — key features:
  • Provides more energy to muscles with C2MAX
  • Contains 200mg sodium, a key electrolyte
  • The original energy bar
  • Low in fat, with 8–9g of protein per bar
  • No preservatives or artificial flavors

PowerBar Performance Energy bar is a great choice for use before & during higher intensity competitions or training sessions like running, cycling & swimming. It’s formulated with PowerBar® C2MAX dual source energy blend, a 2:1 glucose to fructose blend found to deliver 20–50% more energy to muscles than glucose alone and improve endurance performance by 8%.* Performance Energy bars contain 200mg sodium — a key electrolyte lost in sweat that is associated with muscle cramping in some athletes.

Fueling up right can make a big impact on how you feel and perform, no matter what you’re tackling. Eat 1 bar 30–60 minutes before exercise, and for events lasting over 1 hour, eat 1–2 bars per hour during exercise.

How do you get a box?

1. Become a follower (Mandatory) (one entry)
2. Tell me your favorite pre race fuel (one entry)
3. Tell me the worst thing you've ever fueled with (one entry)
4. Post this on your blog (one entry)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bacon Cupcakes.......

This week of training went really well. I replaced two workouts with Crossfit workouts. I've been rolling and stretching what I think is piriformis issues and it feels SOOOOO much better today! I'm feeling good in the pool and actually have more than just one speed!

Now, on to the important stuff. Bacon Cupcakes. French Toast Bacon Cupcakes to be exact. It was part of the Best Father's Day ever!

We spend time with great friends!
Sam created bacon blankets for the burgers.

Pop Pop made bloody marys

Bacon cupcakes

Bloody Mary
Sam's loot! He really scored

Best way to end any day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why don't you look like the rest of your family?

"You look nothing like your brother and sister." - I've been hearing it ALL my life. What do you think?
sister, brother, Mom, me
The reason? I'm adopted. My mom has told me since I was tiny - like 2. I've always known, I've always been totally cool with it. My mom was diagnosed with Cancer before I was born and was told she couldn't have kids. So, they went ahead and decided to adopt. My mom was in the Army at the time and a young girl (about 18) worked in their office. She was single and pregnant - so what's my mom do? Yup. She asked her what her plan was and if she could adopt the baby. She's pretty cool, my mom.

So, July 29th I was born and my mom was right there when it all happened. Pretty cool. Of course, 2 years later my mom had my sister and then my brother two years after that. So - she COULD get pregnant. :) Oh doctors, what do they know?

I spent my life growing up being the only blond in a sea of brunettes. Totally OK with it. I liked talking to people about being adopted. Everyone always seemed so impressed with how open my family has been about it. What's not to be open about? That's just the way it was. I did daydream how my biological family were movie stars, millionaires, somehow famous......you know - the usual.

My Mom and my biological mom kept in touch. I had no clue, but they sent letters, my Mom mailed her pictures every year. My Mom is awesome. So, I went off to college and when I came home for winter break (I was 18) there was a letter waiting for me. My Mom handed me the letter and said "This is for you". I opened it and began reading. It did not take me long to realize that I was reading a Christmas letter from my biological mom. Wow. I sat down and just couldn't believe it. I cried. My Mom cried. I was slightly disappointed that she wasn't a movie star - but I got over that quickly.

Mom, sister, me

I quickly sent her an email. I introduced myself and we started a friendship. We emailed here and there. I asked alot of questions about family medical history and things like that. I never asked about how she got pregnant and how the adoption came to be - I didn't care. I love my life and am super happy. She sent me family pictures and we got to know each other a little.

Then Sam proposed. We debated on whether or not to invite my biological mom (Joyce). I was not nervous about meeting her, she felt like a friend. My Mom was totally cool with it - although a little nervous - so we sent her an invitation. She and her sister were going to come! Sam and I picked them up from the Metro the day before the wedding. Yup, I met my biological mom the day before my wedding.

She was nice, we talked - it was nice.

Years passed and I all of a sudden caught a bug to find my biological dad. I had very little information. Ok, I had NO information. I emailed Joyce and asked if she knew where he lived, his name (I was hoping she knew this), anything......I got a name and a small town his parents lived in. So, I started my detective work. Even with all the technology we have today I had SUCH a hard time. I burst into tears more than once. Sam felt terrible - he tried to help. He called SOOOOOO many numbers in hopes that it was his. Nope. None of them.

I found out what highschool he went to and joined their facebook page. I felt like such a stalker. I googled his name like crazy. Nothing. I tried for weeks, then gave up. I didn't do any searching for a few days. I started looking again and came across a woman's name that went to his highschool and could have been his younger sister. I googled her and she had a myspace page. I looked on that and she seemed like the right person. I sent her a message at 2:00 in the afternoon. I shut the computer and went to pick up my kids. At 4:00 I got a phone call.

"Hi, is this Ann?"
"Yes. Is this Reggie?"
"Yes Ma'am. My sister told me to give you a call."
"Ok. Well, (swallow throw up) I'm the daughter that you gave up for adoption 30 years ago."
please don't hang up. please don't yell. please be the right guy
"Well I'll be. I've thought about you for the last 30 years. I've waited for this day for a long time."

We talked for an hour. I didn't cry. I asked questions, told him about me....it was very natural. I called Sam to tell him - Yep.....burst into tears. I sat on the floor and sobbed. I was so happy.

That was just over a year ago. Reggie/Dad and I talk on the phone a few times a week, he sends my kids birthday and Christmas cards, he has driven from Alabama to visit me to meet for the first time, to see one of my half marathons, and to come to my birthday. He's trying to get back up here soon - but his son is expecting their first child very soon so he's waiting on that.

Dad, me, Sam at the Marine Corp 1/2 Marathon
He doesn't like this picture because he didn't smile - but I don't care. :) I am very happy to have such a good story about where I am from.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What a week!!!!!!

Let's start with what I'm beaming about right now......It's Saturday night and I'm 7/7 for workouts this week! I have a long swim to do tomorrow and then I can say "I did everything my Coach asked me to". That's a great thing to know.

Monday: Swim. I went after work and it felt great. I was not nearly as sore after this 1/2 marathon as I usually am - but getting in the water and swimming felt really really good. No pounding for me! I did have to swim with all the high school elite swimmers. I'm pretty sure the lifeguards could tell exactly which lane divided us. I did find a new UH-MAZING goggle defogger. FOGGLE. This is a wipe that you use on your goggles to keep all that fog out. Normally I can get about 100 into my swim workout - then it's "stop for fog". I went an entire 1600 workout without any fog!!!! I'm sold!! Now to buy stock in it.....

Tuesday: Foundation Run. Easy Peasy. Did 25 minutes around the neighborhood. It was ungodly hot out.

Wednesday: Swim. Test for my T-Pace. I have never swam for time before. This was a little nervous about it. I had to swim 3x300 with no more than 15 seconds difference between them. Pressure! Well, I stayed just about as consistent as I can and got my T-Pace. Now I have times I need to hit during swims. I took the day off today from work to take Sammy to preschool and Mason to the Dr's. A really nice day with my boys!

Thursday: Took the day off from training. We went as a family to a Olive Oil store opening. I know - sounds lame. It was great! There are 35 different oils and vinegars to taste and the ones you like they bottle right there for you. I've never seen anything like it! We bought a dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, a lemon olive oil - and quite a few others. Very, very cool and super fun. Oh, and I got a hair cut.
That's got to shave some time off my swim!

Friday: Two work outs today since I didn't do one yesterday. I swam in the morning with my new T-Pace times. It felt great. Foggle rocked again. Not many people in the pool, which I really like. I went off to work and breezed through a nice Friday in Middle School. I got home and put the bike trainer on the back deck and rode my heart out watching the boys play. Doesn't get much better than that.

My new bike jersey

Saturday: Sam is in Maryland cooking and cheering Team Fexy at Eaglman. We were both going to go, but no babysitters this weekend and the boys would go crazy at a race in this heat all day long. I'd probably go crazy with them too. So this morning I rode my bike outside. On the road. Clipped in. This is HUGE for me! I rode for 45 minutes, longest ride to date. I clipped in and out, stopped, and felt 100% more confident than ever. It was ridiculously hot. There was alot of sweat.

All the necessary stuff for a hot bike ride
Then it was off to Burke Lake to run with the boys. I pushed their 71 pounds of dead weight 40 minutes around that lake. It.Was.Awful. I don't know if I will ever do that again. I don't know how people do that. Sammy said his butt hurt from bouncing over rocks, other than that they were great sports about it. I did reward them with some icecream for being so good. Oh, and a bird pooped on my head. Right on it. Crazy, right?

In the bathroom cooling off with cold water. Beautiful

I have a long swim scheduled for Sunday. I'm feeling focused, happy, energized....and I'm super happy that this is the last week of school. Almost summer time, pool time, beach time.

Any big summer plans?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Va wine 1/2 marathon race report and weekend fun

I'm very torn on how I feel about this race. Some things were great, some were not. I finished, I had fun, and my friend Hayan ran her first 1/2! Woot Woot!

The Good:
Running with my girls
Good Parking spot
Beautiful Start
Cool medals - they double as a wine cork
Thumbs up - mason style

Awesome hubbs and support crew leader!

Thumbs up - Sammy style
I think I stayed pretty consistent - which was my coaches plan for me:

Avg Pace
Summary  02:12:00       13.16       10:01
100:10:29 1.00 10:30
200:09:54 1.00 09:54
300:10:05 1.00 10:05
400:09:39 1.00 09:39
500:09:52 1.00 09:52
600:09:49 1.00 09:49
700:10:01 1.00 10:01
800:09:41 1.00 09:41
900:09:54 1.00 09:54
1000:09:37 1.00 09:37
1100:10:09 1.00 10:09
1200:10:35 1.00 10:35
1300:10:38 1.00 10:38
1400:01:32 0.16 09:42

The Bad:

- A LOT of hills. I mean A LOT. They quoted "mostly flat" on their website. Liars.

- 30 minute delayed start. Screwed up my nutrition pretty bad. I was STARVING at mile 11.

- Sam transferred his bib, but they transferred mine instead. I had to run with Sam's bib because NO one could/would help me switch them back. I left messages, sent emails. No one ever got back to me. So, that also meant no shirt for me. They wouldn't give me a woman's shirt - I got the Men's XL. Great.

- Mile 9 was gravel/dirt/pot holes. That was a LONG mile.

Pretty sure this is a one time race for me. I'm glad to check it off my list.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Track workout and race prep

Yesterday I swam and did a little track workout. Just gearing up for the 1/2 Marathon tomorrow. This morning I did an easy jog in the neighborhood - gotta stay warm and loose.

Track workouts are hard. There is no easy way out. I lucked out and got to the track in between high school cross country/track and girls soccer. I am really not thrilled with running in front of high schoolers, especially those that could run circles around me.

My new Nike socks. So comfy! Who doesn't love airholes?

Track workout. Can't remember unless it's on my hand.

Empty track!

Done and Done!
I came home and Sam made a yummy turkey salad. Hit the spot!

This morning I went for a short run. I tried out my outfit for the 1/2 - gotta make sure I don't rub anywhere. 13.1 miles is a long way to run if you are not comfortable. Sam just got me this skirt. It's AWESOME! The shorts under it are compression - which I heart alot. The top is a run singlet, I feel my tummy may be too jiggly to really wear this - but I'll deal.

Ready to rock!

That's a butt pocket for my Ipod

Headphones go threw a small hole and right up to my ears!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I came home to find.....

Sam went to a new tri store and got me salt tabs for my race on Saturday AND

A new running skirt! Yeah!!!!! I'm so excited about this guy. Here's what the website has to say about it:

Skirt fave feature: Shorties made of semi-compression mesh perfectly cover the biggest parts of your thighs. Chafe-free styling! Skirt fave feature runner-up: TWO pockets, one on each thigh!

At a glance
  • Built-in no-creep Shorties made from semi-compression mesh with 4” inseam. Perfect thigh placement. The Shorties STAY IN PLACE. Just say no to chafing!
  • Featuring our New RunFast Jersey and Semi-Compression Mesh fabrics
  • Skirt length (size medium): 14.5 inches in front; 15.5 inches in back
  • Shorties color matches back to the Skirt
  • 100% polyester Under Skirt Liner for extra protection
  • Flatlock stitching
  • Two hidden pockets in the shorties carry nutrition, music players and more
  • Sonic music port on right side just under waistband: don’t lift your skirt to rock out
  • Lower-rider, but not too low
  • #1 Seller: Our most popular skirt
I can't wait to run in it! I'll probably do a test run today or tomorrow in it - just to make sure it's super awesome.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

All I have is this old dime I found on my run......

Yesterday was hot. I had to run. It's race week - which can mess with my head - and I had a great pep talk from Coach Rob. So, a run must be done. I played with the boys in the pool for 2 hours and then headed out on my 4 mile run.

Getting ready for such a hot run always messes with me. I like to wear longer pants/capris to avoid chub rub and I like to wear t-shirts so there is something for me to wipe sweat off with. I see people all the time wearing just the sports bra and shorts. I'd love to rock that look - but for now I'm a capris and t-shirt/tank top gal (too much bouncing EVERYWHERE).

I left the house and locked the door......... then remembered that I had a water bottle on the counter. Ice cold. Would taste so delicious on a 4 mile scorcher. Welp. Not in the cards. I'm locked out and I just need to go. I started my run and got about .4 miles when I found this little gem:

Now, it's just a dime. Part of a soda fee. The tiniest of all the money. BUT - to my best friend it means so much more. It means strength, laughter, drive, and Nudge. Nudge is her mom, she passed away a few years ago and was known for her ability to find or leave a dime. Megan has found dimes in some great places, always just when she needed to find strength that her mom always gave her. One time it was in the laundry as she was folding it and another time in her running shoe!

Finding a dime to me makes me think of Megan, my running supports, Nudge, and "you can f*cking do this!" I've found them next to a treadmill that I almost quit on, bottom of toy bins when the kids are out of control, next to my parked car after a long run....it's great. Such a good reminder of such a wonderful woman.

Well, I picked up that dime and held it for 3.5 miles in my sweaty hand. I did my run on the road and some trail in the shade. I saw many people out, which makes me feel safe. I saw a deer - could have reached out and touched it....but I've seen "When Animals Attack" and I'm not trying to have that run recreated by some actress  because I'm disfigured in the ICU. So I walked slowly/quickly away from it. All in all a pretty good run.

Then the thirst hit me. It was SO.HOT. I had NO.WATER. Ugh. I ran past a lemonade stand. Pink Lemonade. I almost knocked the kid over to get a cup. It was 25 cents. I told him "All I have is this dime I found on my run". I almost passed up the lemonade because I didn't want to give up my dime - but its was PINK lemonade. So, we made a deal. I got a half cup of lemonade for 10 cents. What a great kid!

I had .5 miles left to go. I had tears in my eyes and goosebumps. I thanked Nudge for the dime so I could get a little lemonade and I finished up. Of course I cried telling my husband the story and haven't been able to bring myself to tell Megan yet without crying. She's even more of a crier than I am!

Anything you find when the going gets tough that just brightens you up?