Friday, August 31, 2012

Hey You

This letter was posted on the I *heart* to run  FaceBook page yesterday.  I don't like the word "fat" unless we are talking about a macro-nutrient in food.  I almost changed it to post on my blog - but I don't want to offend the original writer - whomever it was at I *heart* to run.  

It was somewhat serendipitous that I noticed this post, because after I ran on the treadmill at the gym, I came in to the locker room to see a very overweight young lady testing her blood sugar.  She was obviously post-workout and exhausted.  I tried to catch her eye a couple of times, but she wouldn't look at me.  Me, in my running gear and no-longer-overweight skin.  She judged me just like she assumed I was judging her.  

I wish I could wear a shirt that said "I used to weigh 70lbs more than this."  Maybe I should get some tech shirts made up.  I wanted so badly to give her some encouragement, a hug, a high five.  

So - enjoy this letter that was posted yesterday.  I wish someone had "said" these words to me when I was the Fat Girl.  


Hey, Fat Girl. 

Yes, you. The one feigning to not see me when we cross paths on the running track. The one not even wearing sports gear, breathing heavy. You’re slow, you breathe hard and your efforts at moving forward make you cringe. 

You cling shyly to the furthest corridor, sometimes making larger loops on the gravel ring by the track just so you’re not on it. You sweat so much that your hai
r is all wet. You rarely stay for more than 20 minutes at a time, and you look exhausted when you leave to go back home. You never talk to anyone. I’ve got something I’d like to say to you. 

You are awesome. If you’d look me in the eye only for an instant, you would notice the reverence and respect I have for you. The adventure you have started is tremendous; it leads to a better health, to renewed confidence and to a brand new kind of freedom. The gifts you will receive from running will far exceed the gigantic effort it takes you to show up here, to face your fears and to bravely set yourself in motion, in front of others. 

You have already begun your transformation. You no longer accept this physical state of numbness and passivity. You have taken a difficult decision, but one that holds so much promise. Every hard breath you take is actually a tad easier than the one before, and every step is ever so slightly lighter. Each push forward leaves the former person you were in your wake, creating room for an improved version, one that is stronger, healthier and forward-looking, one who knows that anything is possible. 

You’re a hero to me. And, if you’d take off the blaring headphones and put your head up for more than a second or two, you would notice that the other runners you cross, the ones that probably make you feel so inadequate, stare in awe at your determination. They, of all people, know best where you are coming from. They heard the resolutions of so many others, who vowed to pick up running and improve their health, “starting next week”. Yet, it is YOU who runs alongside, who digs from deep inside to find the strength to come here, and to come back again. 

You are a runner, and no one can take that away from you. You are relentlessly moving forward. You are stronger than even you think, and you are about to be amazed by what you can do. One day, very soon, maybe tomorrow, you’ll step outside and marvel at your capabilities. You will not believe your own body, you will realize that you can do this. And a new horizon will open up for you. You are a true inspiration. 

I bow to you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fight Foreign Oil

I had to skip my Sunday swim due to long run scheduling, and was excited to get back in the pool today.  I have a goal to swim 10,000 yards per month.  A few months, this year, I have far exceeded that, and at least  a couple I have fallen short.  Tonight, I knew that I needed 2,000 yards to meet my goal for August.  A year ago, that kind of distance was out of the question.  I feel good that not only did I complete the distance, but I worked on some skills and felt great about my effort.

On my way to the YMCA for my swim, I pondered our geographical location on this planet.  We live quite close to the downtown area, and in between two campuses of a College Town.

I grew up in the southeast part of this city and would have never thought of moving north back then.  Things were different in this area then, and great improvements have been made in the way of clearing old dilapidated buildings and inserting parks and clean, inviting architecture.  Our street is lined with working class families and just enough nuts to keep it close like family.  I'm proud of our neighborhood!

I used to envy those that lived in the newer neighborhoods of the south, and now far north parts of town.  I thought that I was somehow slighting our children by not giving them an environment with 3 car garages and rules about what color of garbage can is allowed out front.  I thought that a healthy environment was one in which things looked clean and orderly and, well, new.

Today it occurred to me that one of the reasons that our 14-year-old son doesn't mind riding his bicycle everywhere, is due to the neighborhood that we live in.  We live on the edge of two very busy bike trails that are a flurry of activity with commuter cyclists.  It's pretty cool when you take a look - there are students, professors, bookish folks, athletic types - every one of them just trying to save some fuel and some money.

It's the cool thing to do!

So, even if our parental influence isn't working on him, our environment is.  He won't learn how to edge a lawn, but he will learn that lots of people ride their bikes and a car (and a car LOAN!) isn't the most important thing on the planet.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Do Hard Things

Our son read a book this summer called "Do Hard Things."  I intended to read it as well, but admittedly, only got as far as the forward - but the forward was written by Chuck Norris so I get a few points, right?  As a book written to rally the teenage consciousness to do more than simply get by, it was right up Liam's alley.  Somehow, our oldest son got the picture in the last couple of years that life is what you make it - and it's not your own.  God gives you a finite number of days to do His work and His work ain't easy.

The title of this book came to mind lately as I spoke with someone who has set some long-ish (a year to two) term goals to get out of a career that they would like to change and pay off debt.  I thought of this phrase again when I had a panic attack going to the Freshman Football Jamboree on Saturday morning.  Every cell in my body was screaming not to walk down those very steep bleachers at Seacrest Field.  After I was seated I was glued and shaking.  David asked me if I was okay and I just cried a little...took a sip of water a deep breath...asked the kids if they wanted to pick an activity out of the bag...re-focused on #61 in the Black & Red, and got through.

Many things that we have to do are those that we wish we could somehow make easier, but very few fall in to the category of "hard."  Things that are truly hard to do will make an impression.  They require sacrifice.  And no matter how they look from the outside, they change us on the inside.

I have witnessed many life changing, hard things take place as of late.

I saw a man go out of his way to honor, in death, someone that was quite unkind to him in life.  I watched a woman drag her pain laden, shoes made of lead to a place she had left 40 years behind.  Sometimes, the hard thing is simply the right thing.  You know what it is.  It's that thing you could probably get out of.  I mean, somebody that you know would surely justify it for you.  But you would still know that you should have done it.  You know who's voice that is when you hear it.  Don't you.


But that's what we are here for, right? To do HARD THINGS!?   I often wonder "WHY" in the last few miles of a really long run or bike ride.  Crazy me even jokes around "Well I do it for the money! Oh, wait, there IS no money, ha, ha, ha!"  Yes, I talk to myself.  Hey - headphones and music are not the ultimate answer to several hours alone.  Talking to myself at least gives me things to write about!

If all you do is sit by and wait for opportunity to knock, then you are wasting your time.  Opportunity walked by your busted attitude and is currently bugging the crap out of your neighbor who has an aggressive plan to pay off her house in 5 years.  Opportunity took a detour around your sad face and approached the guy who wants to forgive the person who lied to get the promotion he was due in his last job.  Opportunity sailed on past you and the couch to hit up the chick who just decided that her first 5k race is SOON and that a Half Marathon isn't out of reach.

My point?

DO HARD THINGS.  It will be worth it.  You will be better.  It will hurt.  You might cry.  You might scream.  But you will get stronger.

It will be worth it.

You will be something better than you were before.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Remember the Name

You would not believe the day that I had.

Remember the stolen bike?

In case you missed it - our Freshman son, Liam, had his bike stolen on Tuesday.  He had saved up and paid for half of this really nice bike in the spring.  He proceeded to ride it to the lake every week to fish, rode it at 5am to catch the detassling bus and took himself to a part time job at the game shop to earn money for a new game system.  He rode to the church for Bible study and to help the men of the church to work on the grounds on a Saturday mornings.  

He's not satisfied with recreation.  The boy has purpose.  Having his bike stolen crushed him.  That bike was everything.  His independence.  

Yesterday, some friends of ours replaced that bicycle.  My sweet friend told me that she and her husband heard of the theft and both said that they needed to buy that boy a bicycle.  I was flabbergasted by such a generous offer and asked if we shouldn't wait a week or so to see if the other one turned up.  My godly friend said - as only she could say - "Well, God didn't tell me to wait a week or so.  God told me to buy Liam a bike!"  

Liam felt like anyone when receiving this amazing gift.  He wanted to reciprocate, but didn't know how.  He said "But, Mom, I can't pay them back for what they've done!"  

No, son, you can't.  That's the point. 

Grace.

Our friends demonstrated God's love and provision by replacing an item that was clearly treasured.  I am also immensely humbled.  I mean, to have someone love on your child in such a way...wow. It's like a volcano exploding.  The little pieces will land everywhere...and bless many.

I must admit - lately I hang on every moment spent with Liam.  He teases me and calls me a stalker...but I feel like soon he will be gone...I just want to absorb every second of his presence.  

Tonight we traded tunes.  Remarkably, we tend to gravitate toward the same musical interest.  Which is pretty cool when I hear his music thumping and like what I hear!  Tonight he was showing me some stuff on YouTube and actually even asked my input on a cover song that he didn't know the original artist. 

Incidentally, it was "Jump Around" by House of Pain.  Hahahahaha!!  Who the hell covers THAT??  LOL!!

I spent time catching glances and acting like I was mildly uninterested as to not drive him off.  Just trying to absorb the molecules of his fleeting childhood without him knowing.  So grown.  Such a man.  His attitude is work.  The boy has plans.  Not going to be stopped.  He knows that choices have consequences.  He knows that work will yield results.

Balance.  I know the "driven beyond measure" tune all to well.  I pray that David and I can instill some semblance of balance in the kid.

Well, that David can.

I'm no help.

Seize the day.  Don't wait.  Never give in.  Keep fighting.  Stay strong.  And - 

Never, never, never give up.


Remember the name.

Thanks to my sweet friend, Michelle, for bringing me coffee today.  She came and cleaned taters and chatted  with me in the heart of my home.  I felt like a tornado around a flower patch with her here, but I guess she likes me anyhow.  

Pretty amazing.  

Friends loving on me and loving on my son.  My son giving me time - such precious time.  

Nice.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

To Tired to Stay Sane

Workout today: 4 miles of pure torture.  Was it hill repeats?  No.  Was it speed work? No.  It was just the very last thing to do after a very very long day.  It was supposed to be "just a run."  but it was humid and about 90 degrees, so my body just felt like lead.  I guess the 30 miles I did on the bike, yesterday,  made my legs feel like posts as well.  

I headed out to release stress, but didn't have enough mojo left to do my run justice.  I came home and picked up our 10 year old daughter for her training run.  She is running her first 5k in October.  I haven't heard a word of complaint in her 3 weeks of training.  She asked me today, if I liked running with her.

Nope.

I love it.  :)

I'm afraid I don't have any super duper pictures for you today - even though Miss Alahnnah did her "Quad-wa-ceps Song" and the dance that goes with it...gotta record that for you!!

So I will leave you with a link to my sweet friend, Amanda, and her neat-o little blog over at Diary of a Semi-Health Nut.  She is doing a series on being Vegetarian Curious, and you might recognize the guest poster for today. 

So, I guess I will give today one of these faces:


I will get more rest tonight and feel better tomorrow.  Today was physically and emotionally exhausting.  Most of it very, very, good - but tiring nonetheless.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Road Miles and AWANA

Today started out beautifully.  I did manage to get my road ride in and even slowed down long enough to take a couple of pictures.

Here's one of my view from the halfway point:

Great place for a rest.
I even took the time to b.r.e.a.t.h.e and take a look at my surroundings.  This route was very hilly, so putting out a good effort wasn't a problem.  I managed to ride 30 miles and enjoyed every single minute of the peace on the road.  As soon as I turned off the trail and got on the highway I thought "Oh road miles, why have I forsaken thee?"  I haven't ridden road miles since David and I were training for the Century Ride.  I miss riding with David too...sigh...

Step in to my therapist's office.
After refueling a little at home, we checked out a lead on our son's stolen bike.  I felt like a Momma Ninja walking around apartment buildings looking for the bike.  Hubby found it driving in the van and text me - "Found it."  I was all pumped up and excited until this text "Same model.  But not his."   Thanks to another tip, we drove through another nearby neighborhood on the way home from AWANA.  No dice.  I'm so very thankful for the cycling community in our city and for our friends for all the tips.

Tonight was our church's AWANA kick off!  We are so fortunate to have two amazing and hardworking women that run our program.  I'm honored to be a helper with the 3rd - 6th grade group.  These kids are awesome, and I love serving in this way.  Honestly, it comes easily for me - it's FUN!


The kids had a short time in handbook time to pass any sections that they might have gotten done already, and then we had a Decathlon themed activity!  The kids rotated through 10 stations, one of which was a snack and one was super speedy organizing of the books of the Bible.  The others were physical - long jump, discus, javelin.  It was a great way to kick off the school year!

Some of my boys.
I have a lot of boys this year and a good sized group.  This is my sixth year and I have learned that being laid back is the best policy.  You want to get a drink?  Go ahead.  Need another trip to the bathroom?  Sure.  I mean, these kids sit still all day in school - they need to get the picture that church is a place that they can chill and be themselves.  I also give candy out for each section of their book that they pass...I guess that doesn't hurt either. :)

Another day in Paradise!

I'll leave you with just one more photo.  I snapped one of our little Pinkie Pie jumping "hurdles" outside during the Decathlon.  Go Sue!!

Good job, Susan!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Is It Friday Yet?

Workout today: Lower body weights, ab routine and a short swim.  It was hot and boring in the weight room and I went to the Y that caters to kids and older folks so the water in the pool was too warm.  Although, I gotta admit, I was in the mood for some soothing so I swam slow, longish sets and enjoyed feeling like it was recreation.

In other news:  Miss Susan lost her very first tooth today while eating...APPLESAUCE!  She was not impressed at first and was absolutely horrified that it was bleeding!!  Once we rinsed and she got to look at the tooth she felt better.

Susan sans tooth.
In school today, we talked about having a plan in life.  Our Bible story came from Luke 12 where Jesus tells the parable of the man who built the house and then couldn't finish because he ran out of money.  We made little "piggy" banks out of chip and formula cans - thanks to our friends for the donations!  The girls made one each for "tithe", "save" and "spend."  We also built towers out of blocks that I had set out and saw the importance of proper planning.

Aren't they precious? :)
I made a nice vegetarian recipe for supper and then went out to clean my bike.  I hadn't given my bike a good scrub since we did the 100 mile ride the end of June.  Cleaning my bike up gives me such a sense of accomplishment.  She looks so pretty and runs so smooth.  I'm planning on 30 or so road miles tomorrow, so it will be nice to go out on a clean ride.

Speaking of bikes...our 14yo son called to be picked up from school tonight after practice.  He rides his bike to school, but was really shot after football and asked to be retrieved.  No problem.  David went with him to grab his bike from the rack and it was GONE.  They slipped the lock off and left it there, taking the bike. 

The model of bike that was swiped. Grr...
 

I spend quite a little time on the bike trails of Lincoln.  I hope the thief does to.  Or I hope that he doesn't.  

God hasn't dealt with me on my anger issues for a while.  I think it might be time.  I've had professional issues in the last week that have really bothered me, now this.  I really feel like the irritation switch has moved from "Mild" to "Kick a Puppy".  I do a good job of coping with the day to day irritations.  But...things are piling up and it might be a good time to own it and chat about it to a friend.

Or go for a 2 hour bike ride all alone with lots of juicy hills and come home and fall down.  

Yah, that should work.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Paradise

Just another day in Paradise.

The Teen started Lincoln High today.  The girls and I dug in to a brand new school year with 5th grade, Kindergarten, and a dose of pre-school on the side.  We made maps of the little ones rooms and a 4 block radius of our neighborhood for the older one.  We talked about the disobedience of the people who built the tower of Babel and how God will accomplish his purposes with our without our cooperation.

The kids all had good naps - thank you Lord - and I made a beautiful Chicken Tortilla Soup for dinner.  That recipe is a keeper, a hit, loved by one and all.  Today.  Next time I make it - probably not.

I managed to turn my legs in to jello at the Y and wash it all down with a short swim.  We stopped at CVS afterward for the mid-week milk run and picked up a little snacky food for a treat.  The kids didn't get to bed on time, but who cares.

On a scale of one to ten, I would rate this day an 8.5...just short of perfect because I still had to cook and clean, but hey - you can't have everything!  My life is sweet.

And my husband sent me the funniest video...sums it up!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Better Off

You know when you think that things are hard on you?

When you wallow around in some self pity stink-ola for a while and figure that only Job had it worse than you?

Then it happens.

You have a day when you are blessed enough to be the recipient of other peoples issues.  You are trusted to listen to them and what's going on in their lives.

It takes time.  It takes emotional investment.  It might make you want to take a sip of something silly.

But then the magic happens.

You are now OUTSIDE OF SELF.

All the things that seemed so real, all the issues that laid purchase in your psyche have been replaced by other peoples concerns.  "You" seems smaller.  "They" seem bigger.  You stop trying to figure out how you can survive your own issues, and start to feel grateful that your own issues are all that you have going on.

You feel empathy, sympathy, you relate, you can't even imagine.  After the 3rd of 4th exchange you realize what's going on.

He's laughing.

God has sent you these sweet, sweet, souls and their issues to show you how darn right funny your little issues are with comparison to the Master Plan.  He loves you and has called you (and so thereby equipped you) to handle what it is that you have been freaking out about.  I think that the Almighty Himself invented the twitter/text acronym SMH.  He must shake his head at me regularly.

So, while I'm not "happy" that others are suffering, I am happy to be the ear that was bent.  I'm grateful that my only problem is how I can get my Super Suit washed by tomorrow so I can chase a gargantuan gaggle of Geranimals  - ha!  I'm grateful that I am seen as someone that can be trusted with sensitive information.  I'm blessed to be a care giver - to more than just the wee ones.

Even though nothing has changed in MY life since 9:00 this morning, everything has been cast in the light of eternity.  And that is better off.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hey Runner

One of my favorite sites is over at Hey Runner Girl.  I laugh every single time I visit.  Though, I didn't know who the dude in the pictures was and had to ask a friend.  Yes, I do live under a rock...  But Ryan Gosling is not really my style.

So, here is my attempt at a little Hey Runner Girl humor, with an actor that I find nice.

My Nicolas.





Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Having a Marathon Baby

Training for distance running for the first time, is a lot like having your first baby.

Go back in time with me, if you will, to when your first child was new born.

Imagine the new found joy, the pride, the accomplishment.  Remember feeling how much bigger the world got and how much more focus one singular thing in your life required.

Imagine the sleep deprivation, the swollen-ness, the lack of touch with the real world, the hunger, the pain.  Remember how you wished other people knew "just how much" you were suffering!?  Remember how folks would ask you to social functions and you wanted to yell "NO! I can't possibly go to dinner, I HAVE A NEW BABY, DUH!!"  Exhausted, out of touch with anything else, consumed.

I think being a new distance runner is sort of in the same vein.  I remember the first time I ever ran 10 miles - I felt like I had given the world an amazing gift in my accomplishment.  As I trained, I became a different person from the inside out.  I was hungry, tired, anxious, and no one seemed to fully understand just "how much " I was suffering - but it was absolutely wonderful.

Now, for those of you who have multiple children, think of the day that the 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th child came along.  With the amount of workload, fatigue, and pain associated with that did you just want to march back in time to "First time Momma" you and smack her around a little bit?  I sure did.  I mean, how could I have thought that having one singular child to worry about at home was SUCH a BIG DEAL!?!

Our youngest's debut 2009 - Cameron Allen.
It's all about perspective!  It WAS a big deal at the time.  Just as running my first 10 miler was a big deal at the time.  Now, as the mother of 4 children and the care provider to a few more, my threshold for parenting  is a bit higher.  Having a baby crying is about like going for a 4 mile run...sort of an every day, run of the mill occurrence.

And so it goes with my 5th child.  I will call her Marathon.

I'm at the point where an 8-10 mile run isn't out of the question at any point, and won't cause much subsequent suffering.  I don't feel the need to wear a t-shirt barking out my need for additional calories and a rub-down with BioFreeze afterward, and amazingly, I find myself WANTING to go on a run of that distance quite often.

But sweet little baby Marathon will require more.

She will require me to become accustomed to paying more attention to only her, at times.  There will be hunger, fatigue and irritability.  My thoughts, focus, and plans will be consumed.  I will feel like I am the only one in pain.  Sacrificing.  Hurting.

I wouldn't have it any other way.  As I was ready to go from "Mother of 3" status to "Mother of 4"...with trepidation, I am ready to venture out from Half Marathoner and have another baby.

My Marathon Baby.

Monday, August 6, 2012

stresseddesserts

Every. Day. Of. My. Life.
Feeling completely unimportant yet utterly overwhelmed.  Like I have to do everything, but nothing that I do matters.

You ever get like that?  Of course.  I'm sure, everyone does!

I have a home daycare that I will be way over capacity in for a short time...and school is starting the same week as the new kids.  As a home school Mom, I have a little different perspective on back to school.  I'm tellin' ya - if I see one more FaceBook or Blog post about how stressful it is for parents to send their children back to school, I'm going to slap someone.

I have one child starting public High School...stress.  One little baby beginning Kindergarten...stress.  No big deal - I'm just solely responsible for her ability to read.  No pressure.

Same story as everyone else.  Life's challenges wax and wane.  We all have seasons of relative tranquility and then some marked by a solid, relentless up hill climb.

What do you do when you are stressed?

Desserts = stressed in reverse.  *grin*

Me, I just work until I fall down.  I take on crazy projects like purging closets, or cleaning the light fixtures, or stripping the wood work.  My husband can tell how far out I am by how much stuff is on the curb.

I would love to say that I throw myself in to my training...but these days, my workouts are in the evenings.  By 6pm there's not a whole lot left save a shred of desire to burn some calories.  I managed to run like a crazy person tonight and cope with this in a positive way.  One day at a time.

Well, gotta go clean up 2 pounds of blueberries spilled in the fridge.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Cornhusker State Games Triathlon

My second triathlon experience was July 28th at Holmes Lake.  The Cornhusker State Games Triathlon was a small, Sprint distance race in my home town.  The race started with a 750m lake swim, then a 20k bike race, and finished with 5k run.

I woke up insanely early for my race.  I had the alarm set for 5:00am but, woke up about 4:15am and couldn't go back to sleep.  Shocker... I had a hard time falling asleep that night, so I managed about 6 hours of sleep after falling to sleep at 11pm.

I had my usual pre-race breakfast of half a peanut butter sandwich and half a banana.  I wash it down with some black coffee and do my best to use the rest room before I leave...knowing full well that I will need the porta-johns when I get there.

David had packed up my bike for me in the mini-van, and I had everything ready the night before.  So, it was just a matter of getting dressed and driving 15 minutes to the venue.

As you can see, I love purple!

When I got to the venue, there wasn't a whole lot going on yet.  Check In opened at 5:30, and I was there just after.

The good lesson from this, is that I got a sweet spot to rack my bike.  I had initially chosen a rack toward the front of where I thought the Bike Out would be, but after hearing the announcements, realized that corner was for the team participants.

I was a little nervous because I can't SEE after I come out of the swim - so I counted how many racks from the  entrance I was.  There was only about 30 racks, so not a huge event - but still.  Better to be prepared.

I got everything set out and it was still an hour before race time.  I decided to take a short run down the beautiful rock path next to the lake.  I have never run this trail before - normally, I just walk out my front door and take the MoPac trail.  I can see why this is a popular place to run.  Very easy on the joints and some nice hills as well.  More on that later...
My transition area.

After some stretching and more hanging out with my gear, my family showed up!!  I was so excited to see them and gave a terrible amount of kisses to the two kids who will still let me. :)

My Mom drove in the night before and I was so very grateful for her to be there.  It was important to me to have her there.  And if you know him, you know that my husband, David, is The Best Man on the planet.  He got everyone up and dressed and hauled to the lake just to see me.

It was finally time to get lined up according to our waves.  They started the Hot Shots first, followed by the Men 39 and Under, The Women, The Men 40+ and The Teams.  I was a little nervous about the swim, but not for the same reasons as before.  I am confident in the water, now and had practiced sighting and had an open water swim - so it was just the apprehension of starting with other swimmers.  Only 59 of us women out of 198 participants.

The Women start the swim.
The swim was confusing because they had buoys out there for the IronKids race later in the morning.  The race director gave some directions, but I couldn't hear him and was a little scared...  I just stayed to the outside of the group and did my best.  I started to catch up to some of the green caps (the men) and when we rounded the first buoy I realized I has started out way to fast.  I did some side stroke to keep my head out of the water for a minute or so and just did my best to make it to shore.  I exited the water to the shouts of our Pastor and friend, Aaron, and his children!  That was pretty awesome - he even brought an extra doughnut for me. :)  The run from the swim out to the transition area was about 2 city blocks and up hill...interesting, I hadn't counted on that.  Lesson learned.

Swim Time - 16:31

When I got to transition, my family was there.  I spent some time chatting and explaining what I was doing to the kids (rinsing my feet before putting on my shoes).  My T1 time was horrifically slow - but I have no regrets. The distance from my bike to the mount line was very short, so I ran in my bike shoes.

T1 - 2:45

Passing men makes me HAPPY. 
The bike course was awesome!  I hammered it the first 2 laps and then pulled back on the last one to save my legs for the run.  I drank one 24oz bottle of water on the bike.  The first tri that I did, I drank Gatorade, and about lost my cookies on the run.  Nausea is common for me on a bike to run brick, so I tried to keep it simple.  I passed quite a few on the bike, but since it was a 3 loop course, I couldn't tell if I was ahead or not.  I just tried to get out in front a bit because I know I am an average runner (at best) and pretty darn slow (at worst).

Coming off the bike.
Bike Time - 44:35

I guess I thought practicing transitions was silly when I was training.  I mean HOW much time could I really save?  Well, it turns out that if I saved a minute on each transition, I may have placed higher in my age group!

T2 - 2:24

I was relieved to get on the run!  I love running and muscle memory just kicks in.  My heart rate started to freak out as usual off the bike, but I reminded my legs to just do their thing and it would pass.  Unfortunately, my stomach started to cramp really badly after the first mile.  I don't know what the deal was...it was relatively cool out (75*) and overcast, so I'm sure I had enough salts.  Oh well, I decided to chuck my time goal for the run and just have fun.  Good thing - the hill climb just before the turn around was much easier since I hadn't gone all out.  I finished with a smile on my face, and plenty left in the tank.

Run Time - 32:25



Total event time - 1:38:38
Women 35-39 6th
Women Overall 35/59

This was a great first outdoor event experience.  There were a LOT of people that were new to the sport and thankfully, all shapes and sizes were represented!  I would highly recommend this well organized and supported event to anyone.  It was also very inexpensive to enter at only $40 for individuals, it was a total steal.  There was absolutely no commemorative SWAG (save a t-shirt that just says Cornhusker State Games) but if I work harder next time I might get a medal. Ha!


Friday, August 3, 2012

Higher

Did you ever hear a song and it takes you back in time?  The walls of reality are skewed, and you can see back to days gone by.  Maybe days that you are glad can't follow you.

Music was what drew me to Christ.  My soul just can't deny the melodies.  I want to sing at the top of my lungs - for better or worse!  I started listening to Christian music and some of it just turned the right dials in my heart.  Twisted them right off, thank you Kutless, Seventh Day Slumber and Thousand Foot Krutch.

What an amazing bridge between where I was and where He wanted me to be.  Music.  Woah.

Doing the crazy things that I do these days - I sometimes need some help to endure pain or just plain apathy.  Biking some miles and getting off the bike to run, without a training buddy or group can get a little lonely.  This is actually a good thing and builds - how you say? - mental toughness.

But when I "need" music, I like what my husband jokes with me as "angry music" when I run.  Something with lyrics that fight the power and turn it around, throw it on the ground and stomp on it a little.  Overcoming type words, crunchy guitar riffs, acoustic arpeggios and maybe a little galloping here and there (Metallica!).

You never get to have music at races.

And sometimes races are hard.

So, I'm going to memorize music that empowers me.  Creed: Higher, Toby Mac: The Slam, Seventh Day Slumber: Rawkfist, Thousandfoot Krutch: Move.  All the words, the guitar, yep I'm going to look like a crazy woman, but I will make it through 26.2.

Oh, did I tell you that I am running my first full marathon in May?

Oh yes.

I am.

I even bought Creed: The Greatest Hits on iTunes to get me rolling in the right direction for base mileage.  Time to take it higher!