Thursday, June 25, 2015

Life is like a box of chocolates

That I haven't been able to eat for the last week.

Last Monday at lunch, I had some tooth pain.  But it resolved, so I figured I just had something stuck in there.  But it came back on Tuesday and didn't resolve.  So I headed to the dentist, who thought I had a cracked tooth.  Sent me to see the endodontist.

So for the past week, I've been on antibiotics and pain meds and liquid food and generally miserable.  No running.  No biking.  No swimming.  Just trying to get through the day.  "Strange how we can suffer so much fear and doubt for so small a thing." (LOTR, Tolkein)

Needless to say the Dad's Day 5K didn't happen.

The antibiotics seemed to be helping, especially as the endodontist appointment approached, to the extent that I looked at Preston the night before and said, you know, if I felt this way without feeling the way that I have for the last week, I wouldn't even go to the dentist for this.  But I went anyways because it HAD happened.

The Endo basically said he couldn't tell if it was a root canal thing or a gum infection and recommended watching and waiting.  I respect him SO MUCH for not trying to sell me an expensive procedure that he isn't sure I need.  So we shall watch and wait and eat on the opposite side.

That was on Tuesday of this week.

So yesterday I went out for a short run.  First exercise since the Monday of the initial pain.  It felt good to be back out there!  This morning I did a bike ride, again short.  Tomorrow I will run again.   This is life, right?  Stuff knocks you down, you do what you need to do to get through, then you get up and move on.  I was in a good place before this tooth.  I was sad about it for a few days.  But I only lost just over a week.  I will come back strong.  I am stronger for enduring.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


I was doodling in a meeting the other day trying to figure out what workouts I'd have in my perfect week.  I came up with 2 each of: swim, bike, run, lift/core, yoga, and fun stuff.  Unfortunately that is 12 workouts per week, and not bloody likely.

But after that, I did manage a pretty heavy week.  It looked like this:
Monday morning: Run
Tuesday morning: Bike
Tuesday afternoon: Swim, then Racquetball
Wednesday afternoon: Yoga, Core
Thursday morning: Run
Friday afternoon: Swim
Saturday afternoon: P90X Arms & Shoulders
That's not half bad!!  That's what... 2 runs, 1 bike, 2 swims, 1 lift, 1 core, 1 yoga, 1 fun.  I'll take hitting all the categories!  And honestly, if I had gotten in another bike, I'd be over-the-moon THRILLED with this.

This week may be a little wonky since there is the potential for another flooding event in my area AND my morning childcare solution is out of town, so my work schedule is also all wonky.  As such, I got my run in on Monday morning.  Hopefully the week will look like this:
Monday morning: Run
Tuesday morning: Bike
Wednesday morning: Lift/Core
Wednesday afternoon: Racquetball
Thursday morning: Bike
Thursday afternoon: Swim
Friday morning: Yoga
Saturday morning: Run Dad's Day 5K
Crossing my fingers!  I'm prepared to sub in workout videos and/or the bike trainer for rainy mornings, if necessary, but would rather not if I don't have to.

Come rain, or sleet, or HEAT, onward!

Monday, June 15, 2015

What New Devilry Is This?

It is possible, just possible, that I might maybe be running in the Ragnar Hill Country Trail Relay in October.  I say possible because I do not yet have a confirmation and I have not yet given anyone any money.

How did this crazy thing occur, you ask?

Weeeeellll.... I saw one of my old HS friends post on Facebook that she was in training for this.  So I clicked on the link and was all insta-jealous.  I've posted on here before about how I'd love to do the TIR, and I still really really want to!  For her to have a team and be DOING a similar relay, wow!  So I posted something to that effect on Facebook and her response was "So join our team."  I waited over night.  I thought on it.  And the next morning, "Can I?" 

She got me in touch with the team captain and I think I'm in, although like I said, not holding my breath yet.

This would be an unexpected addition to my schedule, but soooooo very exciting!  Crossing my fingers!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

15 in 2015 Progress Report

15 goals for 2015:
1. Leave my old job as well as I can.  Check!
2. Enjoy my month off.  Check!
3. Get lots done during month off also!  Check!
4. Rock out the new job.  Working it!
5. Complete the BP MS150 in April.  DONE, y'all.
6. Do a triathlon!  ALSO DONE!! 
7. Train for and complete the 8 mile Turkey Trot. (Eg. Running, not walking.)  I have been pretty good about not dropping my running this month.  I have completed the last tri on my calendar (for now), so I'm going to be even better in June.
8. Start a garden.  Check!
9. Start a family game night on Thursdays.  Have done a few, need to make a habit.
10. Focus on conscientious spending. I'm really doing a pretty good job here.  Still working on family.
11. Lose 20 pounds.  Half a pound is better than no pounds.  Weight is 148.2.  Things are going back in the right direction.  Slowly.  I started calorie counting after my birthday and that certainly helped.  I'm thinking of doing a no eating out June, but I'm not sure I'm ready to commit.  I do love my eating out so much!
12. Cook more, better at home.  Still working this.
13. Go climbing.  Not yet. 
14. Take ZoĆ« camping for the first time!  Check!
15. Make stained glass things.  Have most of the tools, still need to get set up.
This is really coming along!!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Target Acquired for "Getting Faster"

This just popped up on my running radar this week on National Run Day.  Someone posted in the HARRA Facebook a discount code for the Run One in Houston.

I'm so in!

My goodness I wish we had had this a few years back when I was fast!  I bet that I could have gone sub-8 in a one mile race back in 2008 when I set my 5K PR.  Arg, that would have been so awesome!!

Well it isn't 2008, but I've been aching to add back in a little speed.  I'm forgoing the long stuff for the foreseeable future.  I could see myself getting back up to 10K for the winter, and the 8 mile Turkey Trot for Thanksgiving, but that is ALL.  I will not succumb to the temptation to go longer.  I will NOT!!!   The last time I was going for speed, getting to about 6 miles was helpful, so that'll be the goal this time too.

So this morning I went out and did a one mile "time trial", just to see where I am.  9:50.  But I negative split it!  I have 3 months to improve.  I definitely want to go sub-9.  I think I can do it if I really focus on this and don't get hurt.  And I think it'll be good for me.

Let the training begin!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

PSA: What Not To Say

The other thing that happened this past weekend that I want to talk about was actually the day before the Tejas Triathlon.

We were at a party.  I was leaning against a wall with my shoulder blades, with my hips kind of leaning out, chatting with my husband and his friend.  A guy sort of comes in and gets in on the conversation and SOMEHOW, I found this happening.

Guy:  You look like you're about to pop.  When are you due?
Me:  I'm not.

Me: I just have bad posture.


You know here is the thing.  I do have bad posture.  And I was wearing a tight shirt.  And I was leaning with my hips sort of out, probably making me look all Jar-Jar.  But duuuude.  You just don't say that to a woman.  You really shouldn't ask, ever, unless a woman brings it up first.  Ever. 

Also, ALSO, I've been killing myself mentally about it ever since for not being harder on this guy.  Someone needs to teach him not to do that.  That it isn't ok to wander around callously remarking on someone's appearance.  And that he may think he's asking a fun question, but if he is wrong, he's telling someone they are fat.  You could just as easily say, "Do you guys have any kids?" and if the woman is pregnant she'll likely rub that belly and tell you when she's due IF she is pregnant.  Otherwise, dude, maybe she IS just fat, and WHOA didn't you dodge a bullet there!

I feel like I spend too much of my life taking shit and disguising it as ME being nice.  Like I was talking with an old mentor of mine back in April and she was telling this story about how her boss started using her English skills as ammo against her (she immigrated a number of years ago and occasionally has singular/plural issues and s/he pronoun issues, but she is incredibly smart and well-spoken enough to where you just look past it, at least I always did) and I said, "She can't do that, that is discrimination."  And she looked at me and said, "No, it is racism."  Why didn't I use that word?  Why am I afraid to call a spade a spade?

There was another story recently from a colleague who got approached by a man on a street when we were in Austin and she lectured him on not walking up to women and getting in their personal space.  I totally would have taken it.  I know I would have.  I would have tried to look small and not make eye contact and just tried to book it out of there as quickly as I could.  What am I missing in me that I let these things happen and I don't do anything about them.

I know this one isn't as big of a deal as either of the two I just mentioned.  But in my head it is the same lack of standing up for myself or others, and it bothers me.  This time I think it is because I was at a friend's party, I didn't want to make waves with the friend of a friend, etc.  But that shouldn't be ok either.

Back to my here is the thing.  I know I'm not what I used to be.  I know I need to lose maybe 20 pounds.  I know I'm squidgy around the middle.  I know these things and I don't like them about myself.  But I've gotten to a place in my life where I'm starting to accept them.  Not giving up on improving myself, but just seeing myself as I am and realizing that that is ok too.  And that I had a baby and I may never be able to go back to seeing my abs.  But I have a beautiful kid and this body now also represents that.  I want to be healthy.  I want to do triathlons and seek athleticism and self-improvement.  But I also want to eat cake at birthday parties.  And go out to dinner with my former colleagues, and lunch with my new colleagues.  And go to dinner once a week at my parents' home without having to being something calorie-countable/controlled.  My body is a component of my happiness in that I need to feel good to be happy.  I don't need to be 120 pounds and fully ripped to be happy.  And MOST days, I'm ok with that.  And then shit like this happens and it messes with me big time.  BIG TIME.  Saturday night I needed to eat a full, well-balanced meal.  Instead I felt guilty about the one hot dog and one cupcake I ate after the incident, and then practically bonked following the race the next day, partially due to the terrible lack of edible food at the post-race, but also partially I'm sure due to under-fueling the night before, which then completely jacked my eating for the rest of that day.

Long story short: I am a real woman who faces real struggles around eating and weight management.  Not because I eat super badly, not that I eat wonderfully either, but I think more because my body doesn't metabolize as quickly as I would wish.  A weight MAINTENANCE calorie count for me seems to be about 1400 calories per day.  I challenge anyone to do that on a regular basis.  It is really tough.   So I gain and I lose as I live my life, and I think that just is what it is.  What bothers me the most is that society pressures me to be thin.  Hell, I probably did more before that dude got out of bed on Sunday than he will do all week.  I am strong.  I am capable.  I am powerful.  I have serious endurance and mental fortitude.  I am constantly engaging in personal reflection and continuous improvement.  And it pisses me off that someone I've never met can think it is ok to come up to me and comment on my appearance like it is any of his business, AND that when it does happen, it messes with my self-esteem so very much.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Tejas Triathlon Race Report

Yesterday I did my second triathlon in May.

This is a funny one because I was feeling pretty pleased with myself until I looked at my splits this morning!

Let's talk it out.

Left the house at 4:50, transition was closing at 6:45 but the race was about an hour away.  Did a brilliant thing and stopped at a gas station about 5 miles from the race so I could take care of some business without a line and with a real toilet and more calm, given my wardrobe issues at the CB&I.  I should always do this.

Got to the parking lot, and the race packet said it was a .5 mile walk but it must have been at least a mile because it took forEVER to get there.

Got to transition, walked in and almost immediately realized I had forgotten my running shoes in the car.  Sent P back for them but it was going to be a near thing for him to get back before transition closed.

While I waited I set up my transition area, which was complicated because the chick next to me had like 10 people gathered around her talking, so I couldn't get through to my spot, then she had her bike racked in the wrong direction, but I wasn't 100% sure whether it was her or the chick on the other side - just knew someone was wrong, so had to find a ref, blah blah.  Anyways, got my spot all set up other than shoes, then headed for the bathroom (again).  Luckily there was a real one, and I was willing to stand in the line.  Did my business and managed to re-suit myself, then went to grab the camp chairs and pick a nice spot for P.  He made it back with LITERALLY 3 minutes to spare, and I got my shoes onto my towel and got out of transition.

I haven't yet mentioned the mud.  It was soooooo wet and muddy.  Houston has had flooding rains over the past week, and this tri was in a hard hit area.  I was actually checking the website on the morning of to confirm it was still happening, the rains were so severe in that area.

So once again my wave was second to last, so after transition closed, I ate a granola bar, applied sunscreen, got my swim cap on, and generally hung out a bit.  Watched several waves start and begin to finish, then headed over to line up. 

The water temperature was nice.  I was excited about the swim course because it was a long out, then a right turn.  Bouys would be on the right, which is to my advantage.  I lined up right beside the bouys, but about 4 ladies back (which was essentially the back row other than the ladies who decided to stand on the shore til the gun went off).  It was a freaking madhouse this time.  Lots of bodies all in the way.  Lots of contact.  I felt like it took forEVER for me to get some clear water.  I felt pretty good though, like I was holding my own.  I began passing ladies in the previous wave, and when I got near the turn it didn't look like I was too far behind the leaders of my wave.  That was weird because that was also when I got passed by the fasties of the following wave.  But I didn't freak out on that because that was the wave that included relay teams, and the people passing me were men.  I realize now that some of this was misleading because my wave included my age group, plus the 35-39 age group, and apparently they were the ones that I was pacing, now that I look at the very disappointing results.  I have GOT to figure out what is going so wrong on the swims that I am so much slower in open water than in the pool.

Swim: 16:45 for 2:48/100y

Transition, omg transition.  I was actually surprised when I saw this number because I was veeeerry disappointed with this transition.  Ran to area, was happy about all the bikes still there, stood on towel.  Put on run belt, arm sweatband gets stuck going on because of all the wetness, lost seconds here.  Put on sunglasses.  Put on helmet, sunglasses fogged.  Take off sunglasses, wipe with towel, put back on.  Try to dry feet/clean some of the insane amount of grass/mud off them.  Put on socks, put on shoes (I switched to Yankz, good move!).  Sunglasses have filled with water dripping off face, take off, say out loud, "Slowest transition EVER!", clean with towel, put back on again, grab bike, head out.  On the way realize that sunglasses are over helmet straps, take off again, put on correctly.

T1: 1:38  (Seriously, shockingly fast given all that!)

Head to bike mount line, 5 women spread all over road in front, have to wait a bit, but get some clear and get mounted.  Had mud all up in shoes so took a while to get feet positioned comfortably on the pedal grips.

Got going and was really pleased, maintaining a nice 17-18mph speed.  It was an out and back course and when we hit the first few hills I was excited about coming back because I'd get to go down them.  When I hit the turnaround, duuuuuude.  So disappointing.  I realized that I had had BOTH a tailwind AND a downhill false flat for most of the way out.  Speed dropped to a struggling 14mph.  Blarg.  Eventually I hit one of the turns and was able to pick it back up again.  And I must say I LOVE the 12 mile bikes.  Somehow that seems soooo much shorter than a 15!  By the time I was back in transition I was feeling very good about the bike despite my low point on course.

Bike: 43:13 for 16.7mph

Transition was no big deal.  Helmet off, grabbed a quick swig of water.  Struggled to place bike on rack because of how the other ladies had racked theirs, but managed it with a little finagling.

T2: 1:06

Ran out, was pleased to find almost immediate Gatorade.  There were a lot of people around, so even though my normal strategy is to walk to calm my heart rate and breathing before running, I kind of felt like I needed to run.  So I ran past Preston and people, and stopped to walk where it was calmer.  I had grabbed my phone, so started RunKeeper, stowed it in race belt, and adjusted hair.  Then began running with a 4:1 goal, that ended up being closer to a 3.5:1.5, which I was really pretty pleased with.  I'm aware that I need to work on some speed.  I also think maybe getting the old garmin out would help because I feel like some of my issues are mental out on the run.  It just feels like it kind of goes on forever!  With a garmin on I can use the numbers to encourage myself.

Run: 35:59 for 12:00min/mi.

Total: 1:38.42

Post race: I was very very very disappointed with the post race food.  They had run out of pizza completely.  They had raisen and plain bagels.  There were cookies which were quite good.  I also got watermelon (nice),  grapes (sour), and literally the most disgusting banana that I have ever eaten in my entire life.  It was like the starch hadn't turned to sugar.  I actually had to spit it out, it was so sick and wrong.

Then there was the looooong walk back to the car, followed by the quest for food (Taco C and Starbucks, yum!).

Ok, so the long view.  I had better T1, Bike, and T2.  My run was about the same, meh.  My swim, blarg, so disappointing.  All in all, I was really happy with my time, which is funny.  Based on the differences in distances from the CB&I, I was hoping for a sub-1:40, which I totally accomplished!  I just didn't get the time back where I expected it, which has me shaking my head.

Take-aways:  Still need speed.  SPEEEEEED!  Garmin for the run, RunKeeper isn't good enough because I can't see it easily.