Monday, August 3, 2015

Long Runs & Gold Medals

Going over a creek east of Lincoln on my mountain bike.

I don't even know where to begin with this fabulous weekend!  I love taking pictures with my phone, so I don't forget anything.  Of course only the good, weird or otherwise pleasant things get a photo op. :)

I didn't take a picture of the vomit fountain I experienced in my hands on Friday night.  Turns out my 6-year-old flew under the radar and had sugary cereal for dinner, then had a small blizzard from Dairy Queen and, well, that's a lot of sugar.  Erp.

Saturday morning I went out for my long run about 6:30.  I looked at the radar and we were in for some rain in the next thirty minutes or so, but I didn't want to wait so I went out anyway.  Sure enough, about 20 minutes later it started to sprinkle.  It wasn't bad, and even the full on rain was warm and there was no wind.  My shoes didn't even get that wet.

Camelbak + headphones
It was amazingly NOT HUMID AS HADES and I felt pretty good about my run.  Still not the solid 11:00/min miles I want, but it was still 70 degrees out there.  And hey, 9 miles is a good chunk of mileage for any runner at any pace.

I appreciate the downhills so much these days - literally and metaphorically.  Life isn't supposed to be an uphill battle all the time!

Saturday is always a busy day despite the early morning training that has to happen.  Lovely trip to Aldi for meat and grains, then a produce haul at the local co-op.  Glad that there wasn't anything terribly weird in there this time. 

Sunday.  Oh Sunday. :)

Sunday was the State Games of America Triathlon.  I participated as a team as the swimmer.  I had two very fast boys as the cyclist and the runner and guess what?
I LOVE bodymarking!!


It was a sprint tri in and around a local lake - er pond, really.  Man, that thing was stinky.  My swimming part was only 500yds and I didn't feel I did very well.  My bike crash a week ago caused me to not swim for a week and I was pretty stiff.  I wasn't panicked and felt that I swam smooth - just not terribly fast.

Good thing our cyclist and runner were SMOKIN' fast.  I've never placed in any age group or division, much less taken first place.  It was a great feeling and I got a little teary.  Thanks, guys.

Later, Sunday night, I took my daughter to a birthday party in a small town outside of Lincoln and loaded up the mountain bike to kill time.  There's a crushed limestone trail that used to be a railroad line.  It's well maintained and downright beautiful.

I rode out with the intention of going to the next town, 12 miles away.  But, in Nebraska when the sky looks like grey lemon merengue, you turn around and head back.  So, only 7 miles out and turned back, but still got a nice ride in.  It all went north of us, like I thought the radar indicated - but I didn't want to be caught out in a field all alone in a storm.

No complaints out of me for the weekend!  My littlest boy even lost his other front tooth. LOL - they look SO cute when they have the front ones missing.  Got all my meals made and ready to dump in the crock pot or pop in the over for dinner each night.  Things look pretty good with a little planning!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Stinky Attitude

Magical sunrise that I tried to ignore.
I really, really, really, really, really, did not want to ride my bike this morning.  There is something about me that I've come to realize over the years.  Well, there are a lot of things - some of which are not fit to print - but one thing is that the harder I resist doing something, the more I probably need to do it.

I'm mad, you see.  Mad at cycling. Mad at helmets and traffic and bike paths and clip in pedals.

I'm oftentimes angry.  I guess it's a "thing" with me.  I get riled up about something and I just get madder and madder.  It starts with something like my kid getting hit on his bike and it blows up into the whole world hating cyclists.  I get more and more worked up and isolate so that nobody knows what a big baby I am being.  Before you know it, I'm back to some very unhealthy behaviors and things are falling apart.  Not that you'd ever know.  I'm also a very good stuffer.  But that is for another post.

Let's get off this morning for a bit, though and back track to last night.  I did get out in the garage and shape things up a little bit.  Our 8-year-old helped me sweep and we have a couple of carpet remnants that we vacuumed.  Cleared of the workbench, hooked an oscillating fan up out there and voila!  Nice space to sweat!

We had the radio going while we were working and the kids had a good time.  Well, the two little ones did.  The 13-year-old was glued to Instagram and the 17-year-old was glued to his girlfriend.  *sigh*

Cameron Schwartzenegger
Our 8-year-old, Susan, is an aspiring gymnast - so I was entertained by forward rolls, back bends, and "almost a cartwheel".  We rigged up a balance beam for her to practice on and it was a lot of fun.  We danced around until after 9:00pm when Mom realized that it was waaaay time to go in and go to bed.

I know, it looks dangerous.
My husband went and returned the vacuum cleaner to my Mom's place.  Unfortunately ours died (it was only 12 years old, gosh!) so we've been borrowing hers.  My attitude was really, really, really, really, stinky so I sat in the garage and pouted while he went by himself.  That made me feel even more guilty, so yeah - the circle of crap continues.


Wanna see a picture of a belligerent 39-year-old spoiled brat that didn't want to do anything good for her this morning?

We hates this.
It's not like I had to force myself to get out of bed this morning, so I don't know what the big deal was.  I'm awake by 5:30 most of the time by default (dang, I'm OLD). I get so mad that I don't want to feel better - and I knew that the morning air and the sunrise would make me feel better.


Do you get like that?  So wallowing in the self pity party that you refuse to feel better?  Psycho, much Andrea!?  So, I refused to see the beautiful sunrise behind the clouds until it was almost out of sight.  I refused to smile and be nice to people on the trail - thought I begrudgingly did holler "on your left" to the pedestrians (damn peds, I bet if THEY get hit by a car people will care).  See!?  What a brat I am!

After I turned around at the halfway point - of a route that I deliberately picked because I HATE IT - it happened.

I was smiling and breathing and pedaling and enjoying the sun on my face.  I was smiling at people and watching birds and LIKING IT.

Oh, Lord, you are a sneaky one.  Yes indeed.  You love me even when I am being the stinkiest, stink pot in Stinker Town.  Good thing.  Good, good thing.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Back on the Horse

Beautiful Nebraska between Lincoln and Nebraska City on Hwy 2

It is SO hard to get back on the bike after you crash.

The first time.

Then after that you realize that hitting the ground - or a tree as the case may be - is a possibility each and every time and you just pedal and try to get over that nagging sensation that it might happen again.

Right After Impact
And it might.

Just like many undesirable things in life - crashing a bicycle isn't usually a one time deal.  Life tends to give me varying degrees of suckiness, as it does all of us.  The level of suck usually depends on one thing.

My reaction.

When I crashed into a tree on Saturday I wasn't going very fast.  I'll bet I wasn't going over 10 mph and really I bumped the tree and fell off my bike.  It was a thud-twump kind of deal.  I laid there in the grass for a minute with the rain falling down on me, trying to catch my breath and I shouted "I hate freaking RAIN!"  After determining that I was pretty much okay, I checked out  my bike, adjusted a break pad and rolled on home.  

The main thing I was worried about was my upcoming swim in the State Games of America Triathlon on Sunday.  I'm part of a team and I really want to do my best in the swim to give our team a good lead.  So - I haven't swam at all this week.  My ride this morning made my shoulder pretty sore so I'm sort of up in the air about even swimming tonight.  I don't want to make things worse and be all lame on Sunday.

My ride this morning was a bit timid anyway.  I had a hard ride on the schedule, but instead did a solid even effort on the safest bike path I could think of.  An out and back, even, because I didn't want to cross any busy streets.  My son was hit on his bike in a crosswalk last week and I didn't want a repeat.

Two Days Later
I can't help but replay peoples ignorant comments from this week when I go out for a ride.  First of all - I've been asked many times why cyclists ride on the roads - they are so slow and I have to go around, gee!  Then you have people who chime in and say that bikes don't belong on the sidewalks.  My husband has been honked at, yelled at and given the finger for riding in the street.  I have acquaintances who have been overtly bullied by vehicles on the road.

So I guess what usually is a source of peace and solace for me, has turned into a catalyst to lament on people's ignorance and I'm also scared to death!  My son was hit while riding across the street in a crosswalk.  Due to a city ordinance, we are liable for the damage to the vehicle because he failed to walk his bike through the intersection.  People chime in and say that it's for 'everyone's safety' that we have those laws on the books.  It's usually people who've never ridden more than a few blocks and don't have any idea what they are even talking about.  

I just feel so betrayed by people, right now!


On a happier note, the training for Last Blast is clicking right along.  I started a later shift at work and that extra hour in the morning has been like a gift from heaven.  Instead of getting up at 4:45 for workouts, I am lazing about in bed until 5:45.  The trails are busier and I feel safer on the run.  However, the roads are busier and I feel less safe on the bike.  My long bike rides on Saturdays followed by long runs on Sundays are getting easier and my legs are barely fatigued at the start of the run.

Soon, we will sprinkle in some two-a-day runs to prep for Market to Market Relay. Yay!!

Tonight I'm going to work on my garage gym.  My gym space downstairs is to disruptive to my sleeping teen in the mornings, so I moved a few things out to the garage.  Our garage is tiny and our car would never fit in it, so we use it for storage.   A few weeks ago, my husband moved some weights and a mat out there so I could do my strength training routine before my run or bike.  It's worked out pretty well, and I even drug the bike trainer out there one day when it rained out my ride.  Next week I have to go in early to cover for the Receptionist who is on vacation - so I think I'm going to ride in the safety of the garage while it's dark.

Whatever gets it done, that's the main thing!  Or, as Carrie Tollefson would say "Get after it!"

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Nice Stroke

Tuesday - Run Speedwork Day - One mile super easy, increase treadmill speed by 2 clicks every half mile, one mile super easy.  4 miles total.

Got up and did my run this morning, though, I would have rather not. :)  I got back from the pool about 8:15 last night and it felt like I hadn't really slept yet.  I slept pretty well for once, but bed at 10 -- hubby's alarm at 4 -- mine at 5 -- you know how it goes!

Last night's swim was largely drill and technique work.  I take my 12yo daughter and she kicks like crazy with the kick board and makes me try to keep up!  A family was swimming in the lane next to us, so of course I started talking to the Mom.  She had a beautiful stroke and I figured she was a life long swimmer.  She offered to look at me swim and offered some valuable advice on drills and dry land exercises to help improve my stroke.

She also said I had a "pretty nice stroke".  Boy oh boy did that bolster my self confidence!

Photo from
This morning, I tried one of the new products I got in my ProBox from The Feed.  Yesterday, I wrote briefly about my home made recovery drink.  Today, I tried one from the makers of Clif Bars.   This reminded me a lot of the Beach Body Recovery Drink.  It's Orange Mango flavor was just right on the sweetness spectrum.

The packet itself had about 170 calories, so I mixed it with water.  It had a little more carbs than I get in my formula, but less protein.  At $2.99/serving, it is most definitely out of budget for a daily supplement, but the individual packet might be nice on the go.

Well, I've got a Kindergartener home, sick, from school today.  Along with my daycare kids, I have to be on top of my game today.

Thankfully, this evening, we don't have anything to do and I don't have a workout scheduled.  I need to clean Cameron's room...ugh...and I told Alahnnah I would help her with some Christmas gifts.  Never a dull moment, that's for sure!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Don't Smash Your Face

Monday - Upper Body Strength Training & Swim Technique Work

I hadn't done P90X Shoulders & Arms for a while.  I love Tony Horton, I think he's really funny and his no-nonsense approach really gets me motivated.  His tip of the day was "breathe" but later in the workout, he joked that it was "don't smash your face."  I made the mistake last week with Legs & Back, thinking that I wasn't working especially hard and paying for it the next day.  And the next day.

After working out with Tony and the fabulous Dreya Weber I made sure to add some BCAA's to my recovery drink.  I have read the ingredients on a lot of recovery formulas and I'm confident that my home spun version is just as good and more easily adjusted to the intensity/duration of the workout I just finished.

Andrea's Recovery Drink
1c. 1% milk (1.5c for men)
1/2 scoop protein powder (1 full scoop for men)
10g of BCAA powder (15g for men)

Shake up and drink as fast as you can...because BCAA powder is incredibly bitter no matter what flavor they tell you it is.  You don't need the BCAA's every day - just after especially long or intense training sessions.

Haven't heard of Branched Chain Amino Acids?  They will totally change the way you recover from hard workouts.  This little supplement reduces the chemicals that are released when your muscles are damaged.  Ever heard of the DOMS?  Delayed onset muscle soreness?  That's the "holy crap I can't sit on the toilet" feeling you get after leg day.  BCAA's help reduce that tremendously by managing the damage you just did.  Damage is good -- actually -- because that's how you build mass and strength, but too much - too sore -  can't work out the next day - not so good.

So, hopefully I will be able to lift my arms to do some swimming later today.  I take my 12 year old daughter with me to help with technique work.  She kicks like crazy with the kick board, so it motivates me to keep up.  I have a pretty weak-sauce kick.

In between that time, just a bunch of laundry and trying to clean a 5 year old's room with a 22 month old's help.  Yep.  Should be a piece of cake.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fall Time

I haven't written a thing since summer.

I've been going through a "thing" that I haven't been quite willing to share.  I'm getting there.

Oh, wait...more writing after I brush a little girls hair.

No wonder I never write anymore...

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Late June

What a great week!

On Monday, we went to spend some birthday money. Cameron and Susan's birthdays are only six weeks apart, so they both had cash burning a hole in their pockets!  We went to Shopko and spent about an hour looking and looking at clothes, toys and accessories.  Cameron wound up with a game and Susan opted for a PlayDough set that makes ice cream cones!  Neither one spent their whole $15, so we decided to save some for later.

I spent a lot of time training with my kids this past week.  On Wednesday, Alahnnah and I went for a bike ride -- we were shooting for five miles, but she got very hot and light headed so we turned back and got about four miles in.  It was about 90 degrees and terribly windy.  Poor kid.  I dropped her at home to cool off and headed out for an hour on my own.

On Thursday, I did Liam's run workout with him.  He warms up for about 5 minutes and runs sprints back and forth through the park -- sprint one way and turn around and walk the other.  We chatted and had a good workout.  It was pretty warm out yet and 6pm, but we are getting used to training in the heat.

Friday, the kids and I all went to the mall.  We took our little buddy, Luke, with us and spent about 4 hours or so shopping, eating, playing and walking around.  I didn't even buy very much, but we had a nice time.  It was nice to have all of the kids along.  Friday night we swam laps at the Y, and Alahnnah did her swim workout.  After doing what I was telling her to do -- she asked if I wanted to do her workout.  Sure!  We did flips and cartwheels up and down the lap lane twice. :)  I did have to swim my mile, but it was fun to have some FUN beforehand.

Friday evening, we all sat on the front porch and Liam played guitar and the little kids caught fire flies.  We ate a bag of carrots and waited for the storm that never arrived.  Party animals, for sure!

Saturday I slept in waaaaay to late and tried a long run at 11:00am.  Rookie mistake.  Dehydrated from sleeping all night and coffee in the morning.  Running a new route in full sun, no wind and 85 degrees.  Nope.  I had a 7 mile route planned, but cut it short and wound up with five.  Oh well.  That evening we all went to the lake for a bit and Alahnnah got some open water swim practice in.  She will be doing a triathlon with an OWS the end of July.  I don't want her to have a panic attack!

Today has been fun, too!  I spent the morning in the church nursery and went to see my Grandpa in the nursing home after lunch.  For supper, we had Make Your Own Pizza - which is so much fun!  The kids loved it and its certainly something with will try again.  I baked mine up last and headed out for a run while it cooled.  I got a lovely 5 miles in and felt like I could have run forever.  Maybe that's what heaven is like...

Time to get ready for another week!  Not too much planned, but likely will be adding things as they pop up.