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.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Week That Followed

The week following our 70.3 triathlon was quite busy!  We participated with our church's Vacation Bible School program which ran from 6 to 8pm each night Sunday through Friday.  I didn't think we'd survive Sunday evening.  Thankfully, my legs were only sore in my hips -- poor David's feet where really really bothering him.

I was greatly surprised with the recovery after a half ironman.  I am a planner, and making a training plan to stick to is a tri-geek, joy for me.  My planning and training must have been adequate.  I felt tired this past week, but after Sunday's sore hips, I never did feel soreness in my legs or back.  I'm proud of my fitness!  I took the entire week off of any exercise at all and just let my body heal.  Dave has been riding his bike to/from work...glad I work from home!

Yesterday morning was beautiful -- I slept in until 8:00 and went for a run.  I ran a circuitous route that I hadn't done before and enjoyed a slow 5.4 miles in about 59 minutes.   I listened to some 70's classic rock and just cruised...it was nice to sleep in, nice to feel rested(ish) and nice to run without any pacing requirements.  Today, David and I enjoyed a 29 mile bike ride together.  It was awesome!  I didn't push pace or worry that we weren't hitting our numbers.  Just pedaling...as God intended...LOL.

It was awesome until I wrecked...  Have you ever heard of anyone getting stuck in their front wheel?  Yah, me neither.  Oh, but, I did it!  We were going across an intersection in a residential neighborhood and my front tire hit a bad part of the sidewalk.  My cleat popped out of the pedal and my foot bounced forward and caught in my front wheel.  As the wheel continued to turn, my leg was fed up in between the frame and the tire.  I went down relatively softly on my right side.  In the middle of the street, naturally.  Everything is fine -- I will probably have a nice bruise to show for it tomorrow.  In the shape of a 23cm tire...

Glad I was riding with my body guard!

Last week, I went ahead and cut my calories way back.  I was getting around 1850-2000 during HIM training and managed to lose a paltry 6 pounds this year.  I am scaling back to 1550-1700 for the next 5 weeks until double half marathon training begins.  I've been hitting my numbers and seeing results.  Last week I didn't log any extra calories burned through workouts, so I'm hoping to see even better numbers this week.  I'd really like to lose 10 pounds in the next 5 weeks.   Weight loss will slow again during heavier training, so I gotta do it now!

Here's to a new week tomorrow!  I'm taking Liam to get his driver's license in the morning.  Prayers gratefully accepted. :)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

IronMorton 70.3 Race Report

I think I will take a break from feverishly memorizing VBS Drama Skits and write up our experiences from yesterday.  It was a very long day, as anticipated, and I am so grateful it's all over!

We didn't have to get up insanely early -- I had an alarm set for 5:45, but my husbands internal alarm went off much earlier.  He woke me up to tell me it was 5:06, thinking that I had set my alarm for 5:00.  Gratefully, never late.  I had my standard pre-long haul breakfast of half a peanut butter sandwich and a cup of coffee.

It was absolutely pouring rain when we left for the YMCA.  We wore rain ponchos to cover our back-packs and precious contents within.  As far as getting wet -- we were going to jump in the pool anyway.  It's only about a mile or so to the Y from our house, so it was just annoying more than anything.

We had to wait about 10 minutes for the guard to arrive and open the pool.  It was a good time to take a goofy picture or two and nervously side glance each other with thoughts of "gee this seemed like a good idea a few months ago."  I wasn't worried about the swim.  Just wanted to use it as a warm up.  I shed my bike jersey and jumped in wearing my tri-shorts and sports bra.  Nobody around but my hubby -- good for them, ha!

David and I both learned something very important in the first 50 yards.  I learned that my tri-shorts have a drawstring in them...I swam down for my first flip turn and when I pushed off the wall they "slipped."  David learned that he still had his phone in the pocket of his shorts.  Thankfully it was in a plastic zip top bag to avoid wetness from the rain.  THANKFULLY.

The swim was great.  David was done with the 2100 yards about 4 minutes before I was.  I finished and slurped an energy gel.  We got our bike gear back on and headed out to our wet bikes and the wet streets.  It had mostly stopped raining, more like misting, as we left town.  By the time we got to Denton (about 15 miles in) the rain had entirely cleared and if I hadn't been wet from the pool, the weather would have been just right.  The roads were wet and made us a muddy mess, but that's the breaks.



Our halfway stop was about Crete, Nebraska.  I had been consuming calories every 15 minutes during the ride.  I had a bottle of Perpetuem and a bottle of water on my bike.  My Camelbak was loaded with 40 ounces of Cytomax and I had two Clif bars in my pocket.  Throughout the 56 mile bike ride I consumed all of that save some of the water.  Including the gel that I had after the swim, I consumed about 1100 calories on the swim and bike.

We turned north on Highway 77 to come back to Lincoln and the wind was straight out of the north about 25 miles per hour.  It felt like we were barely moving.  We did have a flat tire, but fortunately I ride with the Fastest Tube Changer in the West.  Back on our way, we rode home and were grateful to get off the bikes.

Here's where there is a distinct disadvantage to doing a Homespun event.  We were HOME.  We transitioned in our lovely bedroom with our comfy bed.  I could have laid down and taken a nap!  In fact, I was yawning quite a bit as we changed.  I changed my shirt, hat and shoes and stuffed three gels in my top and we were off on the run.

As we took off, David had some awful stomach pain.  He did his level best to run through it, but we did some walking here and there and finally just walked the last nine miles of the run.  I took gels on my same schedule of 3, 7 and 11 miles and had my hydration belt full of water.  I stopped at a gas station halfway and ate the most delightful bag of plain potato chips under the sun.  I normally don't even like potato chips, but I discovered during Marathon training, the power of having something salty and crunchy late in the miles when all you've had is sweet and squishy all day!  I had 500 calories in the form of gels and chips, on the run.

We finished together and came home for a big glass of BCAA's to combat post event soreness.  David soaked his feet in cold water and I took a full on ice bath.  The kids had made pizza and we spent the evening relaxing.

Today, we are laying around doing nothing.  I don't feel terribly bad.  My hips are pretty sore, probably from all the walking.  Walking uses way different muscles than running does.  David has a couple of blisters, but we are both doing pretty darn good!  We can add a check mark in the box next to this item on our Bucket List.  DONE!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Gearing Up

Today is the day we start Carb Loading for our long course triathlon on Saturday.  It always makes me snicker a bit to even say the words, because it's a greatly mis-understood concept.  I didn't even truly understand the "why" and "how" until I trained for a Marathon.



Unlike Micheal in this clip from "The Office" -- the right time to carb load is NOT right before the start of the race!    With all the Pasta Feeds the night before events, it's commonly thought that a carb rich meal the evening before ought to do it.  In fact, it takes three to seven days of increased carb consumption and decreased activity to glean the benefits of Carbo Loading.

If all that is just making you bored to death -- I'm sorry.  Just know that I will be eating mostly whole grain bagels, bread, crackers and pastas along with drinking juice, chocolate milk and Gatorade while doing less activity than is healthy for my psyche the next few days.

I'm getting nervous, watching the weather and being pretty excited all at once.  I'm trying not to think any further than the event its self, because David and I are doing the drama for VBS starting on Sunday night.  We may not make it to church Sunday morning...I don't like to skip -- but we may need the rest.

I need to quickly consider what we are going to eat on Saturday evening and Sunday.  Other than ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING WE CAN GET OUR HANDS ON.  I don't want to spend a ton of money on take out -- but can't expect myself to cook those two days.  Standing and walking around may be a challenge, in fact.  I also, normally, grocery shop on Saturdays -- but may need to do that Friday evening.

When people at church have babies, we all sign up to bring them meals for two weeks.  Maybe my Sunday School class should bring meals for us for a couple of days!

I also have started a list of things for our back packs.  Unlike our fellow triathletes completing IronMan Kansas 70.3 on Sunday, our event is entirely unsupported.  We will be out on the highways of rural Nebraska for our bike ride with no aid stations and only two available potty/provision stops in those 56 miles.  I've added to the list a couple of times now, and am a little fearful of forgetting something serious -- like sun screen!  But after:

29 miles of swimming
876 miles of biking
and
257 miles of running this year,

I feel prepared.  I can't believe I feel that way.  A year ago when we hatched this plan, I was a little skeptical that I would feel anywhere near prepared by now.  I have really changed as an athlete and my endurance base is at a level that I am pretty proud of.  Putting in the hard work has paid off.

I have only lost 6 stinking pounds in the last 5 months, but I will take it. I'm still 25 pounds overweight these days.  No skinny triathlete, here!   I have 5 weeks in between the end of 70.3 training and the beginning of Double Half Mary training.  My goal is to lose 10 pounds.  It won't be fun, but it will make all that running much more enjoyable for my joints.

Well, that's it!  My next post will either be a freak out over the pending distance or a Race Report!  We've done the work -- let's enjoy the reward!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Summer Vaca - Week 1

Our first week of Summer vacation was awesome!  I wore the kids out with walks and trips to the park and we ate pizza and grilled PB & J's.  Our flowers are growing, we did a craft and even had a day of epic naps.

This weekend was pretty busy.  David and I swam on Friday night while the kids enjoyed Grandma's house.  It cracks me up when we go to get them...they are constantly eating over there!  Saturday morning, David and I left for an early bike ride.  We made it about 10 miles when disaster struck with Dave's bike.  I back-tracked home while he walked to the nearest store and hung out until I could come back with the car.

When I left, he said "Don't kill yourself getting home!"  Of course I heard "Ride, Andrea.  Ride as fast as you can!"  I went 20+mph down the bike path to "rescue" my love.  :)  Burn, baby, burn!

When we got home I made some bacon and pancakes, showered and we went to a Family Carnival at David's work.  They had food and games, prizes and tons of free fun.  His work sponsors something like this a couple of times per year.  It's kind of neat and a great way to get the families (of 400 employees) together.  I realized that I am super duper old...because outside they had music -- really loud contemporary music.  There was one song that actually, physically hurt my existence.

So after cotton candy and skeet ball, we went for the weekly grocery haul.  I can't believe how much groceries have gone up in the last six months.  I really watch our spending and am lucky to escape with all the food, hygiene and supplies that our family needs for under $200 each week.  A would like to keep it closer to $150 but with milk over $4/gal and produce sky high, it's nearly impossible.

I came home and whipped up a quick pasta salad and cut up a melon to take to a cookout for our Youth Ministry.  We met or prospective new Associate Pastor and his wife and children.  There was a formal Q&A time for them and lots of good food.  I felt badly for his wife -- what a long weekend far away from home with two tiny kids.

We had a full day at church, today, and ended up voting Pastor Matthew in as our new Associate Pastor of Worship and Students.  He's young and full of energy and ideas, and I am happy to see him and his family join us.  I am considering how I can be a blessing to his wife, Cali, in these coming months.  What a whirlwind ride they are going to embark on!

So, after all of that, tonight I sit and contemplate next weekend.  I try to stay in the moment -- but next Saturday I will be doing the most difficult physical challenge of my life.  It will also be double the distance I've ever done in triathlon.  David and I have been training all year to swim 2000 yards, bike 56 miles and run 13.1 miles.  It will take us about 8 hours and we will be doing it together.  David swims faster than I do, but will wait for me to finish my yards.  We will bike the highways together, lock our bikes up at home and then run a half marathon through the trails and streets of Lincoln.

We are ready.  We've put in the training.  We've done the time trials and practice bricks.  We have practiced nutrition timing, and clothing choices.   My Mom is on board to come over and hang out with the kids in the afternoon.  Alahnnah will be here with them, but it's a long day so Mom will come and entertain them.  We can do it.  I sort of wish we could be doing an IronMan sponsored event with other racers, but we are still completing the distance.

I will be happy to complete the challenge and move on to the next one!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Summer Beginnings

We are kicking off the Summer here in Nebraska!  The kids are done with school and will be home with me and on the constant prowl for food and entertainment for the next 12 weeks.

Maintaining order (ie. sanity) is hard.  One thing that I have found is a must, is a tentative schedule.  Not so much for activities but for EATING!  With some kids that can get their own snacks and some who can't it never fails that you end up with a big kid eating the last of the _______ at 1:00 in the afternoon while one of the youngers looks on in over dramatized jealousy.

MOM!!!!

So I set down rules of what can be eaten and when.  I find that also reduces the constant questioning as to when and what we are eating.  Breakfast and snacks are a little more lenient and include some of the same things -- fruit, yogurt, toast, granola.

Lunch and dinner are on the table about 11:30 and 5:30.  I write on the fridge white board, a list of the meals I will be making that week. I ask that the kids don't snack less than two hours before those times. Sounds reasonable, right?  It takes a little planning on the front end, but drastically reduces pain in the rear end. ;o)

We like to go for a walk every morning and get out of the house, especially when it gets so stifling hot that we can't go outside in the afternoons.  I'm sure we are the scourge of the bicycle commuter.  I try to train the kids to stay on the right, but you know that it can be like herding cats.  We collect rocks, sticks, pine cones, leaves and make lots of stops to look at cool stuff.

This year, I'm going to plan for one craft and one cooking/baking project each week.  I found a couple of neat lists of ideas for the Crafts.  50 Summer Crafts for Kids was my favorite.  I'm not especially crafty, but can follow directions pretty well.  As for baking -- I plan to keep it on the healthy side.  David and I are endeavoring to lose some weight after our upcoming Triathlon on June 7th.  I can't make it and not eat it!

Not much for travel plans.  Not much for money, ha!  We had an awesome time in KC with my Sister and her sweet family this weekend.  Now it's time to enjoy the kids and some relaxing days of summer!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mother's Day Thoughts

Nearly sixteen years ago, I sat criss-cross-applesause on a hospital bed around 1:00am with a baby on my lap.  I remember looking at him and thinking "what in the world am I going to do with him??"

I became a mother that day.

Arguably, I became a mother when I first discovered our first son. But I was a different mother the day he was born.  I became a different mother the first time he choked on spit-up, the first time he fell and hurt himself, with the first word he said, the first time he walked alone, the first time he spent the day away from me.  I will soon become a different mother as

I watch him drive away.

I guess I thought that "Motherhood" was a finite state.  You had a baby and became one and that was the end of the transaction.  I have learned a lot since I was 22 and had my first baby.  The transformation is the curious part.  The infinite difference in sixteen years of growth and development on my part is staggering.  More so than our children's, in fact.  I have learned temperance, patience, goodness, love, courage and strength like never before.

As time passes my scope of mothering is ever widening.  While I have always had a heart for children, I also now care more for youth and young adults.  Nothing really prepared me to be going for a run through the college campus and seeing handsome young men that

remind me of my son. 

In some ways, being a mother has expanded my love for humanity overall.  I have learned much about loving people right where they are and not making affection contingent on change.  I have learned that you can love someone and still want to kick them square in the butt.  And that's okay.  And when it's all said and done you love them more.

Humanity looks like sons and daughters, now.

The nameless throngs look less like threats and more like somebodies kids.  I am less irritated by by irritating people and perhaps more intrigued by their behavior.   I do believe our society needs a time out.  Or, dare I say, a spanking.

Mostly, Motherhood has reminded me that I am loved.  When I didn't know God's love, it was my children that showed me I was needed and loved.  When I forget my worth to The King of Kings, my little Princes and Princesses remind me that I am the Queen of the World to them.

Some people say that 4 is a lot of kids.

God knew that Liam, Alahnnah, Susan and Cameron, each in their own unique ways and personalities would be just what I needed.

Happy Mother's Day.