Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Swimming into the abyss

a·byss  (-bs)
1. An immeasurably deep chasm, depth, or void

I imagine this is how I would describe any body of open water if I had no frame of reference, couldn't see or touch the ground. The other thing it makes me think of is as a young girl, looking off the edge of the high dive board at the pool for the first time and picking up the nerve to actually jump (I still don't like the high dive). 

The first part of the triathlon is swimming. I can't count the number of times I have said "I won't do a triathlon because of the swim". Here we are, less than a week away from the triathlon and I am surprising even myself by saying that I am loving the swim days of our training. 

We started in a pool, in a lane, tethered by a rope that I cut to length by somewhat guessing how much distance to have between us. We had new swimsuits, goggles, and cap and we headed down the lane for that first time. As we neared the other side of the pool my heart stopped as I realized that we had not discussed a signal to let her know that she was nearing that really hard cement wall. I tugged on the rope as if I was playing tug-a-war with a beast, hoping it would catch her attention. THANK GOODNESS!!!!!! She popped right up and thus we had a signal for the end of the pool. 

Luckily in the open water there are no cement walls, but she has to swim a straight line...against the current. That is so much easier said than done. We started out with short distances and each time we swim a little further. It's a learning process for sure but thank goodness we are flexible and having a great time. We have time to squeeze one or two more swims in before the big day on Sunday before we take that big dive into the abyss.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

It can't be undone...

It can't be undone but we can't live in fear. 

I don't know if I heard this somewhere at some point or I truly came up with it on my own, but it's how I feel. Yesterday's tragic events at the Boston Marathon provokes so many emotions for everyone. As I read through twitter yesterday before my own run, this tweet stood out to me:

As a runner, I feel like someone just attacked my friends. As a person, I'm just horrified.

It so simply puts how so many of us are feeling. I am grateful that all the runners and spectators that I know are safe. As I sat watching the news and hearing stories from runners, all I could think was that stuff like this doesn't happen. These are the kind of made up stories that Grey's Anatomy shows. Sadly, it is true. Races are a happy and exciting place. They say Disney World is the place where dreams come true, "they" are people who have never run a race. 

Today I am wearing the shirt from my first half marathon. My husband Jeff is also wearing a race shirt. I am wearing my shirt to prove to the "bad guys" that they won't win. We will NOT  let it slow us down or stop us. We will mourn for those lost and injured. We will mourn for those who did not get to finish their race. But in the end we all need to lace up our running shoes and run for all those people. Runners are an amazing and supportive group and today especially I am proud to be a member. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring Cleaning gone green

Do you use store bought cleaners or do you make your own with less chemicals and harsh materials? I have decided that over the next year or so I will make the move from store bought chemicals to homemade cleaners. The more I read (no I don't believe everything I read online) I feel that there is no need for the harsh chemicals in the house. I took the first step and have started using baking soda and/or vinegar where I can instead of things like windows, mirrors, and bathrooms. My plan is to use anything we already have and rather than replacing it, find a recipe for a homemade version.

Here's a perfect example:

Our shower door is clear glass and the hard water stains had built up so much it looked like it was frosted. I have tried various cleaners and nothing had worked but my hands would feel raw and dry after trying. After doing the ol' google search and reading through some blogs I took to the shower with a water/vinegar mix, a scruby brush, some Epsom and half a lemon. half and hour later and a lot of elbow grease later my shower door is just about spotless!  I'm hoping that keeping up with the cleaning I won't need to do such and intense cleaning. As I looked at my hard work this morning and was not only happy at how clean it is, I realized there were no chemicals in my shower now. I really should have taken before an after pictures to show but believe me it's clear glass now.

Soon I will need laundry detergent and granite cleaner. Does anyone have recipes for those? 

What do you think of green cleaning? Should we stick with natural homemade solutions or continue with the store bought pre-mixed chemicals?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Weekly meal plan #1

I've been inspired by a friend (The Moore Babies) to post a weekly meal plan. I have done weekly meal plans off and on for the past few years but I'm hoping by putting it out for everyone to read, I will be held accountable. Here's the look for this week:

Baked Spaghetti Squash with tomato basil sauce and shrimp

  • Spaghetti squash will get baked during the day and then sauce from the jar and we can heat it up whenever we get back from running

Steak and Broccoli

Turkey and asperagus

  • Busy day so I'll put some turkey in the crockpot and then cook the asperagus when we are ready to eat after our workouts

Turkey Meatloaf

  • I have some Gluten free bread crumbs to use and I can add veggies on the side

Date night with the pup in training at the Storm Game

Heading to a friend's birthday party so we'll either eat out or at the party

Sunday's are always up in the air because of tap rehearsal, errands, triathlon training and wanting to relax.

Do you make a weekly meal plan? Are you able to stick with it?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

It's ok to have a blah day

I like to think of myself as a normally chipper and happy person, but everyone should be allowed to have blah days. There are those days when things are just not right in your world and there is nothing you can do to fix them. Sometimes those blah days are due to factors that other people directly affect but they have no idea how important this factor is to you. 

So you put on your happy face and suck it up right? Is it ok just have a blah day where you maybe don't want to talk with people, or deal with a certain task? How do you deal with those feelings? Do you become a hermit or do you seek time with others?

What do you do on your blah day?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Watch out for obstacles

By now, most of my friends know about my latest running adventure. You can get caught up here if you missed the first part. Being someone else's eyes is sometimes easier and sometimes harder than you would think. Walking down a sidewalk isn't too hard, but watch out for other people who don't realize that your walking/running buddy can't see them and isn't going to move out of the way. And that curb, we haven't even tried running over those yet. Little kids are sometimes oblivious (yes we almost knocked one over last night because I wasn't thinking fast enough) and dogs on retractable leashes that want to smell us because we both have dogs...DANGER DANGER!

Each time we run I learn something about running, myself, or how to be a guide. The first run I realized that I had to be on the opposite foot so that arm swings matched up (we are tethered by our wrists). The second run I learned that I could base our intervals on breathing recovery. Last night I learned that we are both strong and we will totally rock this half marathon in November. She has already improved her time by almost 30 seconds per mile!!!!

The other thing to remember when doing any training or running, have fun! Stop and take a picture or have a good laugh!

It's April, no fooling

March was so busy but we had a ton of fun. March goals were to enjoy the mountains and participate in a snowshoe event. We decided not to do the snowshoe event and spend more time just relaxing together. Instead we totally enjoyed the mountains and time with my family. Maggie was an awesome traveler, did great on the planes, loved playing with my parents lab Alpine, and had tons of fun in the snow. I'm so glad we got the chance to travel with Maggie and even more fun that she experienced snow and met my family.

Maggie and I playing in snow
Jeff and Maggie in the snow
Enjoying the post skiing time
Sleepy puppy on the airplane back to Florida

As I look at the calendar for the month I am already looking forward to some down time in May. April's goal  is to sew myself an outfit. I haven't decided what the outfit will be but I'm excited to go online and to the fabric store. I think a flow-y dress for the summer to throw on for lunch with friends or running errands. April  also means spring cleaning around here and I decided to go room at a time this year. 1 room/area a day. Last night was the kitchen and wow it looks so much better now. I have a Pinterest idea I saw for the fridge but I didn't have time for that last night. Today's area is the stairs and upstairs hallway. Do you do spring cleaning?

Monday, April 1, 2013

#12: Spartan Challenge

Crushed it...

Friday night was the Spartan Challenge held by Bay View Boot Camp and I HAD to participate. Well, I wasn't forced to by anyone but I own crazy self. Here's what the challenge consists of:

100 Jump Squats
200 Push Ups
300 Sit ups
400 Burpees

This is a burpee

You have to complete the 100 jump squats before you can start the push ups, and so on from there. There is a 500 version where you do half of everything. The first time I did this I chose to only do half, that way I knew I could finish. After that I was sure that a full 1000 wouldn't be the end of the world.

Last fall I completed my first Spartan 1000 challenge. Here's the catch, in order to get the t-shirt you have to do it twice, so now when it was announced that there would be another challenge, I HAD to participate so that I could get my shirt. Yes, I am one of those people that will do things for a shirt or a medal.

The other part of this was my goal of finishing in 1 hour and 15 minutes or less. When we were about to start on Friday night, my friend and I realized we had the same goal! We started out steady and she totally powered through the sit ups like a champ! I was able to catch back up on the burpees by just ignoring everything and doing them as fast as I could. We finished together at 1 hour and 10 minutes!

I am pretty sure I wouldn't have made my goal time if it wasn't for her encouragement. I am so glad I have my shirt and my abs are still feeling it.