Random musings and activities of a 30 something mom, potential sprint triathlete, vegetarian, dog and cat owner, and a evolving urban homesteader just trying to do the right thing in life for my daughter and the world around us. If the blog seems random, it's because life is and hits us all at 100mph.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009

PostHeaderIcon I love this pic.

I love this picture. To me, it represents the best moment of the Triathlon (well, the best two).

After the swim I struggled with, I was on my bike, struggling up a hill and struggling to keep my cramp at bay. About the time I was wondering why the hell I was keeping going, I get to the top of the hill and I hear, "GOOOOOOO MOMMMMMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" really loud.

My brother, future SIL, and my daughter were at this intersection. Fortuitously they were late and unable to enter the park and the Sheriff had stopped them at an intersection. The first intersection at the top of the first hill of my 12 mile ride.

It was meant to be.

At that moment, the race was no longer about protecting my ego and simply finishing to avoid the embarrassment of a DNF. Now, it became something much bigger and much more important. It was about showing my daughter the results of those workouts I had sacrificed some of my precious time with her for (as a single parent, I feel so much of our time is eaten away by "have tos"). I needed to show her that you don't quit.

Most importantly, I couldn't let my 7 year old down.

This hug post race meant the world to me, and I'm so glad my friend captured this picture, because to me, it emodies the spirit of my race.

(if the moment on my bike was the best moment, finishing was the 2nd best!)
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Midwest Mayhem Part 1 - The Swim


I'm not sure what to write here. When recapping this part of the Tri to a friend on Sunday, I ended up crying. It was not what I expected and while everyone keeps patting me on the back saying, "at least you finished", I'm not one to just finish, I want to excel at it.

But panic set in.

Then a cramp.

And unfortunately that set the tone for the rest of the day.

*thinks she should immediately register for another sprint to get this behind her*

First, everyone was talking that the swim was 600m, not 500m. Still not sure if this is true, but still freaks a person out.

Another surprise is that it was a treading water start, which actually was ok with me. The treading for 2-3 minutes was a little more of a warm up. At race time, they announced the water was 82, but outside temps at 75. Perfect day really, especially for Kansas in mid-summer.

*jump off the dock with 39 other people and wait the 5 minutes in between heats*

I did ok with the start, stayed towards the back and outside. Then it hit.

*white flash of lights in my head*
Pure panic.

I realized the water was so dark I couldn't see my hand when pulling under me.

*crap! I've only gone 50 yards*

I treaded water for an eternity (or approximately 60 seconds to the observers) trying to fight the urge to call it quits then. Luckily, my stubborn nature prevailed, and I started forward... with my head out of the water.

At this point, I'm swimming at the angle of a teeter totter with one person rather than flat. I am guessing this is what caused the best part of the swim.

The cramp. (insert doomsday music here)

About the 300m mark, I felt it. It was sudden. It was painful. As I wrote yesterday, my first reactions were: 1. yelling, "cramp" and 2. rolling on my back, float, with my knee pulled to my chest and try to keep my pain-induced obscenities to a indoor decibel level.

* Oh my &$*(&#$(* leg! OMG! (*$&#)(*&% NO! I can finish on my own! ($#*$&(#*$& I'm ok! No, don't help me! (*#&(FUOI#%&#*

At this point, I swim approximately 75-100 yards and stop to treat water and give my cramp a break. It hurts. I stop 4 more times before I reach the beach. To give the water rescue people credit, they stayed by me the whole time.

Another swimmer was also having trouble, and I told her after the race when we were the only 2 left in the water with 200 yards to go, that she was my inspiration to keep going.

*have to catch that other yellow cap*

Because if I had been alone out there, I would have quit I think. I hurt and the distance seem insurmountable to a beginner swimmer (I took lessons 5 months ago in Feb) who had never swam (swum? swimmed? stupid verb) more than 1000 yards in a session.

When I finally made it to the beach, there was a small run up the sandy hill and the cheer from the crowd was both awesome and embarrassing. I was happy for the support, but knew they were cheering because most probably thought I wouldn't finish.

I almost forgot to step on the mat for my chip timer. Thank you volunteers for yelling at me.

I almost forgot to put on my helmet before grabbing my bike I was so flustered. Thank you husband of woman near me who reminded me and also told me to slow down, take a Cliff shot, drink some water, and gather myself. You're awesome. I was flustered for being last out of the water and in pain. Can't believe I almost forgot to drink and get my helmet!

*facepalm*

I hopped on my bike and the swim and T1 were finished. Tri 1 Jen 0.

Next time? I won't let a defeated attitude get me so early in the race.

Yes, I said next time! I'm not done with Triathlons yet!



Triathlon Mistake #1 of the Day:
Underestimating the open water swim. Why can't the water in a lake be as still clear as the indoor pool? Life would be easier. I still can't figure out why the murkiness caused such a panic. Maybe because I couldn't see the bottom? Any ideas?

Funny Triathlon Moment #1 of the Day:
Women who wore makeup for the tri, and obviously were not wearing waterproof mascara as the infamous racoon look proves later in the day.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009

PostHeaderIcon I Answered My Own Question on Sunday (also titled I Didn't Drown Due to My Cramp)

I jokingly asked on June 19th while mentally preparing for my tri the following:
As my first triathlon is approaching, I have so many questions.... ranging from, how do I let the kayak life guards know I'm drowning to what socks to wear to how to setup my transition station to what to do with my hair. Seems frivolous to some, but to me, it's a worry and not for aesthetic reasons either.
From my experience last Sunday (write-up coming I promise you my friends and family) I now have an answer to the question in bold. Yell, "CRAMP!".

It works.

For real.

Just in case you're wondering.

I also learned you can roll over, float on your back, and curse loudly (personally, I think KLM Marketing should give me an award for my creative string of multiple cuss words used in a single breath) until the calf cramp subsides and they will float patiently next to you.

All valuable lessons.

[side note: I may have been the last one out of the water, I came out of the water on my own to finish my first sprint tri.]
Tuesday, July 07, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Funny Triathlon Conversation of the day!


I was asking a friend if he had ever used one of these or known anyone who had (I wanted to hold my inhaler)

His response?

" I think it'll hold it... It held my Zippo lighter and a half-pack 'O smokes during last month's Half Ironman race :)"

I about fell out of my chair laughing.

This might have been funnier for me than most, but thought I'd share.... I'm getting nervous about the race! I'm starting to think my lunchtime workouts aren't enough, and it's only 12 days away, not much I can do now.
Friday, June 26, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Update on the little one

Hi Family/Friends;

You're probably looking for an update, but there's not much to share other than our plan of attack.

A little background to refresh your memory, last November, blood in the urine happened with bebe(think color of koolaid), and it was quite a bit worse. We went thru CT scans, xrays, and ultrasound and blood and urine tests each time we went to hospital. Her symptoms only lasted about 20 hours. The testing was done over a 3 week period. This Monday we were back in the ER for the same problem, but the symptoms only lasted about 5 hours and were less severe.

We've already been to several doctors this week, and luckily they all agree with the approach of the Kidney Specialist, which is outlined below.

Wednesday, when we were at the pediatrician there was still signs of protein in her urine, with a score of 2 positive. Today at the kidney specialist, of course it was gone. We have the most incredible doctor there, and since this has happened twice, they are going to move forward with a plan to see why this is happening. So, here is the plan to diagnose:

We first have to collect 24 hours of urine in a jug and take it back to them on Monday. As Bebe said, "that won't be lemonade in the fridge!" (ewwww). At that time, we have to also go get lab work done and they will use those blood tests to measure her kidney functions and compare that to the testing we had done last November.

Then in about 3 weeks we will get another ultra-sound to see if the inflammation of her bladder and kidneys has gone down any. The CT scan from Monday was negative for stones, but they will take another one the same day as the ultrasound to see if there are any changes, and also compare that ultra-sound and CT scans to the ones from last November.

After all of that, if there is still no clear reason for her problems, then we will do a biopsy of the kidney.

In the meantime, there's a few minor dietary and other changes to our routine, but it's for the most part, business as usual for her.

Thanks for all your emails and calls with concerns.

Many thanks,
Us
Friday, June 19, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Tri-Swimming with Hair. Lots of it.


As my first triathlon is approaching, I have so many questions.... ranging from, how do I let the kayak life guards know I'm drowning to what socks to wear to how to setup my transition station to what to do with my hair. Seems frivolous to some, but to me, it's a worry and not for aesthetic reasons either.

I used to never go more than 6 weeks without my highlights being done and my hair being trimmed. That all went away about 2 years ago, it just seemed like a waste not to mention unnecessary chemical in my body. Lately, I've gotten real lazy bout it and have had 2 trims in 6 mos. The problem is I have this hair that the longer it gets, the curlier it gets, which makes it unruly and thick and hard to keep in check.

Obviously this hair issue is affecting my swimming. To get faster, I can decrease my drag, or increase my effort. Decreasing drag is much more efficient and easier to maintain.

So, here comes the issue...what to do to keep it out of the way? I hate to say, but pulling a Sinead is not an option, and yes, it's not an option for selfish reasons. I could get a easy-to-maintain cut, a lot like new moms and new brides do, but again, I like the long hair.

Trying to get it all in the cap? Not an easy feat.

Quick and easy bun with a hair-thingy after the swim?

A braid under the swim cap that hopefully holds thru the tri?

I know this sounds silly, but I will be seriously perturbed if my hair is in my face during the bike or run.

Ideas?
Friday, May 08, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Southwest Contest

Nuts About Southwest
Wednesday, April 15, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Does this apply to matters of the heart as well?

I ran across this while looking for something else.

If something anticipated arrives too late it finds us numb, wrung out from waiting, and we feel - nothing at all. The best things arrive on time.

Dorothy Gilman, A New Kind of Country, 1978
Tuesday, April 14, 2009

PostHeaderIcon oops

so in my attempt to redo the template my blog uses today.... I think I deleted all my widgets, links, and other fun stuff in the side.

I did save the original template, but for some reason the gadgets are broke. LOL.

oops.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Work Travel messes with my tri-training

First of all, to get to a 7am PAC breakfast, that means a 5am run on EASTERN time (I'm a CST kind of girl).

Then, the hotel gym and pool are only open 9am-9pm, so that means no weights or swimming while here, because frankly I'm working from 7am-11pm (yes, we finally finished our dinner at 11pm last night). There's only so many squats, situps, and crunches I can do in my room before getting bored.

Alcohol. There's a lot of it here. It's free. Everyone is doing it. Hard to resist "just one" glass of wine (because it doesn't seem to stop there). The first reception of the NGFA I did have tonic and lime with the intent to run later, but again, a late dinner with customers derailed that plan.

I know being "off" for 3 days wouldn't hurt a normal person, but I already get sidetracked from my planned workouts with just normal mommyness stuff that comes up. I swear that if it wasn't for lunchtime workouts, I would never be able to do this. Even those gets sidetracked by the activity the pays my mortgage. Some days, it's just too hard to leave the office and walk the 100 yards to the gym. I need to be better about walking away from 75 minutes. No one will die.

So, heading home today then my next challenge is not to be too sidetracked by my dad being in town for the first time in years. He'll just have to understand, and maybe even come run with me ;)

So, today wasn't a total loss. Up at 520, run 3.5 miles, PAC breakfast at 7am, then general session at 8am..... I'm on a roll!

(isn't it great that I can post this from my blackberry while listening to the blah blah blah of legislative concerns within our industry?)
Sunday, March 29, 2009

PostHeaderIcon You know you're an Ultra runner if:

stolen from : http://www.hornetjuice.com/marathon-quotes.html#slo

I'm not an ultrarunner/marathoner.... but I WILL BE this time next year! ;)

You know you're an Ultra runner if:

1. Your wife tries to introduce you to your three children and you reply "Three?"

2. You spend more time in the drug section than the food section of the local market.

3. You wonder why they don't make all running socks a dusty brown color.

4. You have more dirt on your shoes than in your garden.

5. You think that flagel and ibutrophin belong on the breakfast table.

6. You get more phone calls at 5:00 AM than at 5:00 PM.

7. You don't recognize your friends with their clothes on.

8. You have more buckles than belts.

9. You postpone your wedding because it will interfere with your training.

10. You keep mistaking your boss for Norm Klein.

11. 6am is sleeping in.

12. Your feet look better without toenails.

13. Your idea of a fun date is a 30-mile training run.

14. You're tempted to look for a bush when there's a long line for the public restroom.

15. You don't think twice about eating food you've picked up off the floor.

16. You can expound on the virtues of eating salt.

17. You develop an unnatural fear of mountain lions.

18. When you wake up without the alarm at 4AM, pop outa bed and think "lets hit the trails together".

19. When you can recite the protein grams by heart of each energy bar.

20. You don’t even LOOK for the porto-sans anymore.

21. Your ideal way to celebrate your birthday is to run at least your age in miles with some fellow crazies.

22. Your ideal way to celebrate the new year is to run as far as you can afford to with some fellow crazies.

23. Your ideal way to have fun is to run as far as you can afford to with some fellow crazies.

24. You know the location of every 7-11, public restroom, and water fountain within a 25-mile radius of your house.

25. You run marathons for speedwork.

26. You have more fanny packs and water bottles and flashlights than Imelda Marcos has shoes.

27. You visit a national park with your family and notice a thirty-mile trail connecting where you are with the place your family wants to visit next, which is a 100-mile drive away, and you think "Hmmmm".

28. Someone asks you how long your training run is going to be and you answer "seven or eight ... hours".

29. People at work think you're in a whole lot better shape than you think you are.

30. You actually are in a whole lot better shape than you think you are.

31. Your weekend runs are limited by how much time you have, not by how far you can run.

32. You always have at least one black toenail.

33. You buy economy-sized jars of Vaseline on a regular basis.

34. You tried hashing, but felt the trails were too short and easy.

35. You think of pavement as a necessary evil that connects trails.

36. You’re read this and relating to some of it.

37. You rotate your running shoes more often than you rotate your tires.

38. Your friends recognize you better dressed in shorts than in long pants.

39. You really envied Tom Hanks' long run as Forest Gump.

40. You carry money around in a ziplock bag because store clerks complained that your money's usually too sweaty.

41. Any time a plain old runner talks about her aches and pains, you can sympathize because you've already had that at least once.

42. You put more miles on your feet than on your rental car over the weekend.

43. You don't need to paint your toenails; they're already different colors.

44. You start planning the family vacation around races and vice-versa.

45. You say "Only a 100K to go."

46. When you start considering your next vacation on the merits of its ultras

47. You spend you entire paycheck on running gear, ultrabars, and entry fees.

48. You become a quasi-expert on different detergents so as to not "hurt" your tee shirts.

49. You leave work early to hit the trails

50. You wear t-shirts based on if you've had good work outs when you've worn them before.

51. Have a trail shoe collection that would make Imelda Marcos envious.

52. Running trail is better then sex(even if you don't get any).

53. You walk up the stairs and run down them.

54. Peeing in the toilet seems unreal.

55. You start wearing running clothes to work so that you're all prepared.

56. Vasoline isn't just for fun anymore.

57. You know you're an ultrarunner when the start of a marathon feels like a 5K and you're wondering "Why is everyone in such a rush? Where the ##@@**!! is the fire?"

58. You're an ultrarunner (and this is an absolute requirement, which I feel should be included in all race entry forms) if as an infant you were dropped on your head.

59. You're an ultrarunner if nobody recognizes your power T's. Met a guy at the market the other day who was wearing an American River 50 T. So was I. I gave him a hearty, "Ta-da." He said, "Oh yeah, I tell people we were all aquitted and the charges were dropped."

60. You know you're an ultrarunner when you sign up for a 10K and you strap on your fanny pack because you never know where the aid stations are. You bring your own drinks. You bring potatoes and salt. You start fast and a six year old passes you. You are the only one walking the up hills. You run it a second time because its not far enough to call a training run. You are the only one around who is eyeing the bushes THAT way. You punch the lap button on your watch instead of the stop button at the finish.

61. When "NEXT GAS 36 MILES" signs start sounding like tempting runs.

62. Your pedicure kit includes a pair of pliers.

63. The number of toes and toenails you have is not equal.

64. You drink from a water bottle at the dinner table.

65. You consider the mold and mildew in your bottles extra electrolytes.

66. You just found out Poison and Oak are words by themselves.

67. You see a 1 quart water bottle colored like an Advil bottle, and don't realize that it's not in fact an Advil bottle.

68. You know you're married to an ultrarunner when Valentine's gifts come from Ultrafit.

69. You know you're married to an ultrarunner when she helps you up and says, "Come on, suck it up, keep moving!" and you know she means it in love.

70. You know you're an ultrarunner when a prospective employer asks for a photograph and all you have is race photos.

71. You know you're an ultrarunner when the races you enter end in a different area code and pass through several different Zip codes enroute.

72. You know you're an ultrarunner when your crew tries to keep you motivated by saying, "You're in second place and only 6 hours behind”.

73. You know you're an ultrarunner when you go to your 8:00 a.m. college geology class and you can use the salt crystals, still caked on your glasses frames from your early morning run, in your talk on the category of sedimentary materials called evaporates.

74. You know you're an ultrarunner when, on the night of a bad thunderstorm and downpour, you ring for a cab, and your announcement that this is the *first time* you're not getting home under your own steam causes a stunned silence in the office.

75. You know your an ultrarunner when you actually sit down and read all of the postings about, "You know your an ultrarunner when..." and can laugh and relate to all of the comments.

76. You know you're an ultrarunner when you don't finish on the same day as the winner.

77. You know you're an ultrarunner when people praise you to the high heavens for being able to finish a marathon, and you feel insulted.

78. You know you're an ultrarunner after you post your third ULTRA message about relative 100 miler difficulty.

79. You know you're an ultrarunner when our dogs can drink out of water bottles.

80. You know you're an ultrarunner when you meet the opposite sex you see a possible crew, a possible pacer, a possible search and rescue team, a possible race director, a possible source of race entry fees.

81. You know you're an ultra runner when you can really identify with those scenes at night in the woods in The Blair Witch Project.

82. I knew I was an Ultranrunner when my wife asked me the morning after my first 50 miler if I was still planning on that 100K in five weeks, I smiled and said "Sure!"

83. If so many places on your body hurt you can't figure out which one hurts more, so you ignore them all and do another 50K, and then you feel better!

84. You strap on your water bottles and walk the hills . . . . . . in a 5K race and consider that your 10 minute pace is a blistering pace.

85. You know you're an ultrarunner when you do a triathlon and it is your RUN time that is slower than the years when you specialized in triathlon.

86. You are told *not* to run another marathon during the next few months (because that would be bad for your health), and you really follow that advice - by immediately sending off the entry form for your next 50/100 miler.

87. You know you are an ultrarunner when somebody asks about the distance of an upcoming race and you, without thinking, say, "Oh, it's just a 50K." ...forgetting that for most people, a 5K is a heck of an accomplishment.

88. When running a marathon and at mile 20 say to yourself, "Wow, only 6 more miles left, this is such a great training run!" NB: saying it aloud can make one seem arrogant, beware!

89. Everything in your life, everything, is organized in different sized zip-loc bags.

90. You know you are an ultrarunner when you go for an easy 2 hour run in the middle of a Hurricane and think it is fun to get wet, muddy and run through the rivers that were once trails.

91. You know you are an ultrarunner when you get to the 81 mile point of a 100 miler and say to yourself, "Wow, only 19 miles left!"

92. You know you're an ultra runner when no one believes you when you say "never again".

93. You try to tie double knots in your Oxfords.

94. You pass a swamp towards the end of a run and think 'How bad could it be?"

95. You know you're an ultrarunner if your wife/girlfriend/significant other asks you if you want to have sex on any particular night and you respond with: "sorry, I don't have time, I have to go running" or "sorry, I'm too tired, I just went running" or "sorry, I would rather go read all my messages from the ultra-list"

96. You're embarrassed that you've only done 50K's.

97. When livestock salt blocks look good after a run.

98. You refer to certain 100 mile races as "low-key."

99. You number your running shoes to distinguish old from new, since they all look dirty.

100. Prior to running a difficult race, you check to see if local hospitals and urgent care centers are in your PPO.

101. The only time major household projects get done is in a taper or race recovery.

102. You know you are an ultra parent if; Your 6 year old knows the difference between a 100k and 100 miler. Whenever you announce an exciting family vacation, the first question is "Where is the race?"

103. You know you are an ultraWOMAN if... You have more fanny packs than purses. You have the complete collection of every "long lasting" lip color ever made. You have a walk-in closet dedicated to running apparel. You have a permanent combination scar/tan in the outline of a jogbra.

104. You know you're an ultrarunner when you need to ask for a ride from a friend because you drive a stick shift.

105. You call a 50-mile race "just another training run".

106. You think a 100-mile race is easier than a 50 miler because you don't have to go out as fast.

107. You say, "Taper? Who's got time to taper? I have a race coming up this weekend."

108. You have to rent a car to drive to a major event because you and your pacer own stick shits and neither will be able to drive them on the return trip.

109. You're tapering/recovering, and you'd rather drive 50 miles to watch Ann Trason's heavenly running style for 20 seconds than the Super Bowl.

110. You use your local 5 and 10km's for "speed work."

111. On a long drive you see the road signs listing various mileages to different places and think of how long it would take to get there on foot rather than by the car your driving.

112. You've started a race in the dark, run all day, and finished in the dark (if you’re lucky).

113. Your non-Ultrarunning running friends look at you strange when you tell them that 10:00/Mile is a fast pace for a 100 mile race (not to mention most ultras).

114. You don't hesitate to lie down in the trail (anywhere) when you are falling asleep on your feet during the early morning hours on the second day of a 100 miler; and it feels so comfortable.

115. You go to bite into a hamburger at the finish line bar-b-q and get a cramp in your jaw.

116. You know your an ultra runner when you meet someone of the opposite sex on the trail of a 100 and all of conversation is about what color is your urine, can you drink and were you able to dump?

117. You know you're and ultra runner when a girl changes her tank and her bra in front of you and all you do is take another drink of water, look at your watch, get up and tell your pacer "Let's hit the trail."

118. When you try to determine which 100 mile race is more difficult.

119. You know you are an ultra runner when you read these posts and reply, "So, what's your point?"

Friday, March 27, 2009

“Frustration is the first step towards improvement. I have no incentive to improve if I’m content with what I can do and if I’m completely satisfied with my pace, distance and form as a runner. It’s only when I face frustration and use it to fuel my dedication that I feel myself moving forwards.” ~~~John Bingham
Wednesday, March 25, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Discussion on Daughters and Puberty. I need a Xanax


Obviously I have no idea what is in store for me... and please keep in mind, most of my comments are tongue in cheek here between two girl friends (Jen, me and p=girlfriend). Here is a copy/paste with some minor name editing:

Jen: you know.... I'm not sure I understand little girls. I really don't.

p: ;)
i'm scared to ask
LOL

Jen
this morning I took her to school and asked if she had a good birthday and she started CRYING!!! telling me she wanted to go bowling! I was like WTF???? Said you had 3 friends over yesterday and I thought that is what you wanted and you never told me you wanted to go bowling. She then strting crying more saying, "I tried to tell you but the kids just wanted to play." WTF??? I told her I couldn't afford to take every one bowling and I would take just her and I. WTF???? we've been talking about your bday for a week and you tell me the day after you want to go bowling and you're crying???? honestly, I'm glad I was at a loss for words.
I don't get little girls.

p: C was bawling this morning because she didn't think she rinsed the conditioner out of her hair well enough and i made her get out of the shower anyway

Jen :
ok
so, this is normal?

p :
oh yeah

Jen :
becuse my jaw is still on the ground
and it was 2 hours ago

p :
it's the beginning of puberty, hon

Jen
jeez

p:
hormones start entering at around 7

Jen
that early?
damn
time to change the parenting arrangements

p:
yeah

Jen
say hi to daddy

p:
real puberty won't start for a few years

Jen
ROFL
(jk btw)

p:
but the estrogen is on its way ;)
oh i know LOL

Jen :
well, thanks for the headsup, I thought I had til 10 or so
eff this. I'm getting a Rx for xanax

p: lmao
Tuesday, March 24, 2009

PostHeaderIcon My Birthday Gift to my Daughter.


My baby turns 7 today. Each year for my little one's birthday, and some other special occasions, I write her a letter. Usually a 2 or 3 page handwritten letter that recaps some of the highs and lows of the previous year. The night where I write the letter is usually lacking in sleep, full of introspection, sometimes a few tears, and usually a lot of smiles. Last night was no different.

This year though, I spent some time thinking over the last 7 years about the people who have helped along the way. There are so many people that have made our lives better and I'm at a loss on how to thank them appropriately. Hopefully they know they can call me at 3am and I'll come help them if needed. I can never completely return what they've given to our lives.

Part of the letter was naming these people by name. Some of them are no longer in our lives for various reasons, and others I think will be there for a long time to come. Surprisingly very few are actually related, but everyone I told her about everyone I consider family.

I haven't decided at what age I will give these letters to her, but I hope when she reads them she will learn to appreciate that sometimes the best "family" to have is not the ones you're related to.

I decided to start doing this after receiving a hand written letter from my step mom. She sent it while I was pregnant. It was a simple one page letter that shared my pain, my joys, and gave encouragement. It is carefully stored where I keep other valuables, such as passports and birth certificates. It means that much to me. It's been read dozens of times and might have been the best "baby gift" I received. I guess my hope is that one day maybe even one of these letters will mean as much to my little one.

The games and gifts she receives this birthday will eventually be outgrown or broke. What was the coolest gift will soon be only remembered in photos, but I hope these letters from her mom will be something that will never go out of style or be forgotten. To me, that's the best birthday gift I could give my daughter (despite her desire for a wii).

PostHeaderIcon I Am Not a Number on the Scale.


I'll admit it. I let myself get fat in the last 2 years. As in the-only-time-I-weighed-that-much-was-when-I-was-8-months-pregnant type fat. Why? I could go into all the reasons. It started with a funk that lasted about 6 months after a particularly bad year.. then there was work issues, and a broken heart in there, then a stress fracture from running a relay, and sprinkle in life. But after that funk? It's all me refusing to get off my ass. Pure and Simple.

So, since Halloween of 2008 (about 5 months ago) I decided to get off my ass and start running regularly again. That was hard decision simply because I remember running being fun and good and my favorite part of my week. The cadence of falling into a good rhythm, the ability to think out problems, and the sense of accomplishment when I went further and faster than the week before.

Why was it hard to get back into it? It wasn't fun. I was slow and felt fat and it was HARD. No wonder people who have never been runners give up so easily.

So, I battled the bulge and the treadmill. I had a little setback in January with "walking pneumonia." (I'm still trying to figure that out *sigh*) I wish I could say I was sick feeling, but I had just had this horrible hacking cough and tired for weeks on end.

Since Thanksgiving, I've lost 16 pounds. I'd love to lose about 15 more to get back to my pre-funk running weight, but we'll see.

There has been many victories over the last few weeks... it's not the number on the scale, but how I feel. Since Jan, I've (re)learned to swim, and put my ego aside and took swim lessons at the age of 31! I FEEL fit! I feel stronger and leaner. I'm no longer losing 2 pounds a week now (I'd like to think that is because of muscle weight), but I have other victories than the number on the scale. When I swam (swum? swimmed? I hate that verb) 100m in the pool when 6 weeks prior I could barely finish 25? That is a victory. When I tell people my running workouts actually have names like Fartlek and Tempos and Intervals, I feel great. When I have friends attempting a 5k because my overweight ass is trying a sprint tri, I feel a victory! When I pass on Friday night happy hour drinks because I know I have a 7am workout, and people stopped giving me a hard time because they know I'm serious, that is a victory.

My victories to date are so much more than a number on the scale!

(but if that number wants to continue going down just to continue feeding my ego, that is ok too! haha)
Tuesday, March 17, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Quote too long to Twitter today


Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and however early a man's training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly.

~~~Thomas H. Huxley (1825 - 1895)
Monday, March 16, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Letter to the swimming Gurus


Dear Authors of the dozens of swimming plans I have found on the internet;

What you're posting is not a true beginning workout. A 500m warmup? I can barely swim to the end when I started at the end of Janyuary, and you want me to do that how many times?

You want me to change up with a butterfly stroke then a what-stroke? Um, freestyle is the only thing I've (barely) figured out because a loose version of it is what I use at the lake or in the ocean.

exhibit A : http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/article-detail.asp?articleid=181 (typical, not atypical).

I can cycle a century.

I can run a marathon (um, maybe on that one).

Swim 1600m in the pool? FAIL.

When someone approaches me about running, I can point them to Runners World for beginning programs. A walk/run interval program. The couch to a 5k program. I could go on and on about which programs and the pros/cons of each.

Cycling? I could join a spin class and get an idea of how I'm doing. Local shops have programs for beginners. I could go on and on about resources here too.

Swimming? Short of hiring a private coach or ordering TI DVDs, I am surprised by the lack of true beginner programs out there. After 6 weeks, I am happy I can swim 150m. (granted, I had to learn to freestyle first and ended up in a 4 session class on the basics), but supposedly I should be swimming a mile by now. I'm not a couch potato. This shouldn't be this hard. It is easier than when I first started blogging about my first tri experience in Jan, it's still not fun or remotely easy.

I understand if Tri's were easy, everyone would do it. But I also understand why swimming is considered by many to be the most intimidating part.

Help me. Point me in the right direction. And possibly? Can you do this without charging me by the hour? Please.

Regards,
Girl who wants to complete her Tri.

p.s. if you know of a site where I can join a forum and ask lots of practical questions as well, that would be nifty. Not sure asking my waxing and other such questions here is what I want to be memorialized on google for my daughter to find 10 years from now. Just a thought.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Mommy Wars : Those Moms Versus Other Moms


I am convinced that there are two types of moms (and dads) out there.

Those Moms

and

the Other Moms.

It's true.

We all know them. I used to think "those" moms are largely mythical beasts, like the elusive unicorn. I don't know anyone who has it all together, all the time, then I met one.

Every morning I run into M's mom. She's the absolute sweetest person I deal with daily. She is the home room mom. She is also on the carnival (and the auction and the Texas hold em tournament) committee and a 100 other things. She claims she rushes out of bed to get the kids to school, but never has a hair out of place. All her kids look like little dolls and a gentleman. Did I mention she never store-buys treats for her day and she's a size 2? I don't know this for a fact, but I'm also pretty sure she never forget to initial her son's daily behavior sheet and his uniform is always pressed. She is one of "THOSE" moms. There are others like her..... and I wish I was one of "those" moms, unfortunately, I'm the "other" mom.

I'm the mom who forgets her kids' snack day and after dropping her kid off runs to the market real quick to the bakery to get something healthy and easy. May Day? I didn't know to bring the teacher a flower. I pick one committee a year as not to be shunned by the school (volunteering is as weighted almost as much as tuition). I always buy more tickets for the events than I probably should out of guilt. At least once a week, DD and I are running down the sidewalk to get her in the front door before the 8:00 bell rings. There are days DD is brushing her hair in the car. I have had to run home to get a permission slip I've forgotten. I'm not a size 2 (but working on getting back into the 4 I was last year) and I don't have a barbie smile on my face at all times. My daughter is not enrolled in 7 different activities (nor do I want her to be) and sometimes I purposely make an extra large meal one night, so I can have a break from cooking the next night with leftovers. I'll admit it, I'm one of the "other" moms.

The one thing we have in common is that we both want the best for our kids. So, as long as we never lose sight of that goal, I will continue to bring in my store-bought (but hydrogenated oil and corn syrup free) snacks, she will bring in home baked goodies and we will both fall asleep that night wondering if we're doing enough for our kids.

As a side note, is it wrong to secretly wonder if someone so Stepford-Wife perfect is actually a bulemic Meth head who over compensates to cover her addictions? Yeah, it's wrong, but it makes me giggle a little on the inside. ;)

PostHeaderIcon Random Acts of Kindness, at the pool.


Sunday, went to the pool at community to see how far I could swim in 20 minutes. I'll admit, not a well-planned workout, but it was time in the pool.

As usual, after 10min I'm exhausted (why is it I can run 5 miles fairly easily, but time in the pool KILLS me?) and really dreading the next 7-10 minutes of my workout when I hear a voice from the next lane : "let me finish my set, and I want to help you."

I turn. I look. Older gentleman who has been putting in some fairly fast laps in the last 20 minutes. His 3 to my 1? LOL.

Turns out he used to coach swimming. And swam in college. And said something about Olympic try outs. I'm listening.

Said he couldn't help but point out a few things as he could tell I was just starting out (uh, yeah. January). Not extending through my stroke, too stiff, and not kicking enough. LOL. Easy to remember everything all at once while remembering to take controlled breaths. Right?

Gave me a few drills to help me and we talked about swimming in general. He used to give open swim lessons to beginning triathletes. Sweet. He honestly was trying to help.

He took 15-20 minutes out of his day to give me a few pointers and work with me. It gave me a boost I really needed and hopefully (test it out today!), new focus on my time in the pool and new optimism on swimming.

This random act of kindness made the day (week? month?) of a person (Me!). I hope some day when my first triathlon isn't looming, but I have 10 or more under my belt, I can step away from my drills or workout and pay it forward.

(ps the answer to my question about getting enough air lies in what he told me, relax.. I'm using too much energy on bad form.)

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”


Monday, March 09, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Success and Failure


The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.

People are scared of failing. Without even defining sometimes what success is, they are scared of not achieving it. For some, anything over a 4hr marathon is a failure. For others, simply finishing is a success.

It's a great sense of empowerment to decide that you won't let the fear stand in your way. When I tell people I have signed up for my first triathlon, most commonly I hear, "I couldn't even run a mile!" or "WHY?!?!?!?". What most people don't realize is that they COULD run a 5k if they needed, or even a mile. Most are so scared of failing that they don't even participate.

I'm training for my first triathlon. It's a sprint distance. To me, a successful tri is simply a finish. It's learning to swim as a 30-something and putting it together with running and cycling in one event. The fear of not being able to finish has kept me from trying so many things in life (beyond sports).

There comes a time where everyone looks at themselves and decides the fear is not going to control them, and I believe at that moment, you have already achieved success.
Thursday, March 05, 2009

PostHeaderIcon It finally happened..... and I did not panic.

Sunday I logged onto Google chat, and you'll never believe this....

The message said:

0/38 friends online

How does that happen? The funny thing is, I didn't even want to chat with anyone, just logging in for the day. Suddenly though in a world where between IM and facebook chat everyone is a click away, it felt a little odd to feel like the "only" person online at that moment. haha

I didn't panic and lo and behold within 20 minutes, I was no longer alone. *whew*

PostHeaderIcon Jon Stewart... Bacon, Mayo, and Lazy Americans

While the whole video is hilarious, the humor for me really started at the 4 min mark.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Gauging Self-Worth Through Accomplishments (or titled: Don't let the media define you)


Back on February 6th, Dr Boston sent this to me, and there was a convo today with a girlfriend that made me feel like posting this for her. I hope others enjoy it as well.
“If I were feeling a little more lawless, I’d gather all the copies of Cosmo and Seventeen, douse them in kerosene, and strike a match. I’d throw in reams of print ads from Calvin Klein and watch with delight as Kate Moss’ stick-thin image was reduced to carbon.

I’d add copies of Shape and Runner’s World until the flames reached toward the heavens, and then I’d crank call the editorial desk at Muscle and Fitness until they stopped publishing pictures of women on steroids.

I’d get the master tapes of America ’s Next Top Model and dub over them with “Nasty Girls”, broadcasting the results on every television stat ion in America . I’d skywrite “CrossFit.com” across the Boston skyline, and gently admonish the hoards of long distance runners trotting along the Charles River —with a bullhorn.

I’d take every woman with mass media-induced ideals of beauty, and I’d show them what it really means to be beautiful. Beautiful women are strong and powerful. They are athletes, capable of every feat under the sun. They have muscles, borne of hard work and sweat. They gauge their self-worth through accomplishments, not by the numbers on the bathroom scale. They understand that muscle weighs more than fat, and they love the fact that designer jeans don’t fit over their well-developed quads. They know that high repetitions using light weights is a path to mediocrity, and “toning” is a complete and utter myth.

They refuse to succumb to the marketers that prey on insecurity, leaving the pre-packaged diet dinners and fat-burning pills on the shelf to pass their expiration date. Beautiful women train with intensity. The derive self-image from the quality of their work and their ability to excel. They don’t wear makeup to the gym, and they wouldn’t be caught dead with a vinyl pink dumbbell. They move iron, they do pull-ups, they jump, sprint, punch, and kick, and they use the elliptical20machine—as a place to hang their jump rope. They spend their weekends in sport, climbing walls, winning races, and running rivers. They laugh as they sprint circles around the unschooled, turning the image-obsessed into bench warmers.

Beautiful women don’t care if they’re soaked in sweat and covered in dirt, if their nails are chipped or their hair out of place. They care only about quality of life. Beautiful women are happy, healthy, and strong, and they’re right there beside me, tossing conventional beauty on the ever-growing flames of what used to be.

Be beautiful.
3 times this past week, someone has used the word "athlete" when talking to me. Honestly, I never thought of myself as an athlete, because I don't compete like I used to, I'm a newb to the triathlon scene, and I certainly don't look like the people I consider athletes. When I reread this article, I am reminded that those 3 people are right... I am an athlete and am beautiful because I am.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009

PostHeaderIcon 11 Tips for Triathlon Success From a Navy SEAL

From the article in Active.com:
http://www.active.com/triathlon/Articles/11_Tips_for_Triathlon_Success_From_a_Navy_SEAL


From the article....................
You may not be capable of becoming a Navy SEAL, but I'm willing to bet you are capable of successfully becoming a triathlete. Some of you are capable of being quite competitive in the sport; perhaps one of the top in your area, the state, the nation or perhaps the world.

Be inspired, inspire others.

"The only easy day was yesterday." - Displayed at the Naval Amphibious Base Coronado

Triathlon Training/SEAL Mentality


Training to be a Navy SEAL is far more challenging than training for an Ironman. Given his experience as a SEAL, and his recent Ironman success, I asked Keith to give triathletes some tips for success. Here is what he said:

1. Eliminate self-limiting thoughts. More often than not, people have preconceived notions about what is possible for them to achieve. They sell themselves short. Abolish thoughts that hold you back from achieving your true potential.

2. Optimize your skills. Everyone begins at a different place and each of us are dealt a different set of genetic cards. Use that to your advantage and optimize your assets.

3. Be willing to spend the effort and energy to be successful. Anyone can succeed if they are willing to work at it. Too many people want to reap rewards without the sacrifice that is necessary to achieve any goal.

4. Enjoy the journey. If you can enjoy the pursuit of excellence, you've got it made. Aiming to enjoy only the end result makes it impossible to endure the necessary sacrifices to achieve any goal really worth having.

5. Be a student. The more you understand about what it is you're trying to do and how to do it, the easier it is to be successful. Be a student of your passion.

6. Persevere. There are many things that can get in the way of successfully achieving any goal. You have to be willing to figure out how to get over, under, around or through those obstacles. Keep trying.

7. Develop mental toughness. It is not the physical challenges that keep men from successfully surviving the SEAL training, it is mentally giving up. You need to start believing that you can do it, you can be successful. Others have been successful before you, you can do it too.

8. Be prepared to suffer. When you are training for an event as large as a 140.6-mile triathlon, it is a long haul. There is going to be bad weather, aching body parts and times when you are just plain tired. Know that some stress, followed by rest, will make you stronger physically and mentally.

9. Take strength from others. This tip is particularly valuable for race day. Right when you are thinking things are really bad for you, look around. You'll see that others are suffering too. Knowing you're not the only one and that other people will suffer generates energy, if you're willing to accept it.

10. You must want success. Doing something that is difficult requires that you want to be successful with every fiber of your core. The intense desire to succeed helps you overcome obstacles that crush other people.

11. Avoid over-training. It is easy for highly motivated people to over train. Achievers are often rewarded for doing more and working harder. While you must work hard and do the prescribed work, you must also rest in order to reap the benefits.
Monday, March 02, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Happy Birthday Dr Seuss..... what is your favorite Seuss story?


It was March 2nd, 1904 that Theodore Seuss Geisel was born in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Personally, I think the man is a genius. The story of the Lorax made me cry the first time I read it to my daughter. I could go on and on about the many ways his books speak to me, and hopefully my daughter as she grows and is able to see the message behind the nonsense story. I think the world a better place for this mans writing. Millions of children have been blessed by his words. Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”

“I meant what I said and I said what I meant.” (quoted often to my daughter)

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way.”

“Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.”

“Fun is good.”

"All alone! Whether you like it or not, alone is something you'll be quite a lot"

"It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how" (also quoted in our house a lot)

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. "

"If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good. "

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.”

PostHeaderIcon My first training owwie..... Did I spell that right?


I'm angry.

I wasn't even doing anything strenuous. Really.

Last night I hurt and today I'm sore.

I'm angry.

I was playing volleyball and it's just my intermediate co-ed league. Last nights game wasn't anything strenuous, then it happened. I went to serve and I noticed my leg right above my Achilles and below my calf was sore. Then I stepped into my serve and realized it REALLY hurt. It hurt like someone had a lighter up against my leg. We were in our 3rd game, so I decided to ignore it. After all, it couldn't be that serious, right? I just was playing a low-key game.

By then end of the game, my ankle and knee were killing me and the burning feeling was worse. I couldn't wait to get outta there. Of course, I hadn't been to the market yet this weekend, so had to take the little one to get fruits and veggies for the week and her lunch stuff. By time I got home, it really hurt.

Called Dr Boston to get his advice, and he sounded very serious when explaining to me what he thought it was. Got bebe to bed and then propped up my leg with an ice pack, but by this point, it was almost 2.5 hours after it started hurting. Mommy duty doesn't wait.

I'm angry. I'm angry because I don't have a cool, "this is why I'm limping today" story. I'm angry because I'm not going at lunch today to work out. I'm angry because I don't like to slow down for any reason.

I feel like any set back is major at this point. I have less than 5 months until my first triathlon (see ticker to the right). My swimming is just now starting to improve and I had planned to start a tri-training program I found (for a little more structure) and now I am resting when my enthusiasm was on a upswing.

This sucks (and hurts).
Monday, February 23, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Yoda Saved my Run


Last friday, I ran a little over 7 miles, if you count a 1 mile warmup walk/jog.

So, in my new Chi-running form (leaning foward, elbows tucked, proper head position) I ran. The run would have been good except one little detail. When I left the house it was 52 and sunny. I was wearing Adidas capri pants and a running tshirt. No gloves/hat or other things you might normally run with in Kansas in February.

The sun went down.

The cold front moved in.

Within a half an hour it was between 36-39 degrees. Of course the only thing that brings in a good cold front, is a good cold wind.

Layers? Good.
Cold Quads and Ears and Hands? Bad.

So, Yoda never spoke about wearing layers, though a good Jedi would not have to be reminded of this. (A good Jedi I am probably not) What Yoda did for me was say : Do or Do Not. There is no try.

Turns out, that is a great saying in the cadence of running. I will make it to the stop light at Metcalf and once I got there I realize I will make it past Shawnee Mission North HS and then I realized I will make it to my street and then Yoda's saying helped me sprint home. [side note: I usually walk the last 1/2 mile home to cool down, but near-sprint = less time in the bitter wind. Yay me!]

The thing is, I'm not even a huge Star Wars fan, but that quote is amazing through its simplicity and truth.

I've had various quotes posted around my office or house over the years depending on life's situation. Find yours and when you need the energy for your sprint of the day, maybe that quote will carry you to your destination.

PostHeaderIcon Running Quote that is too long to Twitter!

"I like running because it's a challenge. If you run hard, there's the pain----and you've got to work your way through the pain. You know, lately it seems all you hear is 'Don't overdo it' and 'Don't push yourself.' Well, I think that's a lot of bull. If you push the human body, it will respond." ~~~by Bob Clarke, Philadelphia Flyers general manager, NHL Hall of Famer.
Friday, February 20, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Discussing My Rack at the Office.


I have a male employee that is just awesome in the office, but the poor soul will never live this down....

My assistant and I were talking about birthday cards for a customer who is turning 60, and he just randomly says, "I saw your rack. looks nice."

I bust out laughing and my assistant is laughing so hard she can't breathe.

Then realized I left my bike rack on the back of my car and that is what he was talking about.

**lmao**

He turned 20 shades of red and I couldn't stop laughing. I'm so Beavis.
Thursday, February 19, 2009

PostHeaderIcon How to know your Tri-Training May not be going Smoothly (part 1,345)


If I had the writing skills of my brother, the story would be conveyed in the hilariousness that it happened in.......

There's lots of things that can go wrong while training for your first triathlon. If you pause a moment, you can probably come up with a dozen easily, hopefully death not being one of them ;)


The one lesson I've learned is that I will look like I don't know what I'm doing and that's ok! haha (actually it's not really ok but I've learned to accept it.... just like accepting I'm 5'4" no matter how much I want to be 5'7").

While swimming with "Boston" this past weekend (I love how he doesn't give me a choice on swimming when I'm out of town LOL) we went to the local Y. I used one of his swim caps, an gray Ironman race cap (this little tidbit is important to the punchline). My purpose of swimming last weekend was to practice my form and things from the previous class I had taken. I'm not to the endurance part yet!

I was doing laps and pausing after each length to evaluate what felt good, what to work on next, and catch my breath. In the lane next to us was an instructor with a 12 yo kid. I can tell he's watching me on and off and find it odd, but see my note above about looking like I don't know what I'm doing, so I move on.

Towards the end of our trip to the Y, I was pausing at one of end of the pool and Mr Private-Instructor-of-Young-Man said, "you know, with many triathletes, swimming is their weakest event. Why don't you try my stroke class on Thursday evenings? I think it would help a lot."

Ego? going....... going...... gone....

I smile and I thank him and tell him I really should consider it (despite living 1,000 miles away but he doesn't know that).

About half way down on my next lap it dawns on me how this guy knows I'm trying to swim for a triathlon.... Boston's cap! Then I get to the other end and just start dying laughing.

This Instructor is probably wondering how the heck I survived a 2+ mile swim (IronMan distance) when it's obvious a lap is giving me problems. I wonder if he's surprised I don't show up tonight LOL

Monday, February 09, 2009

PostHeaderIcon In China, They’d Be Executed

The same week Peanut Corp. of America backdated its recall of products to January 2007 and the FDA announced numerous apparent violations at the Blakely, Ga., manufacturing facility, the Chinese government sentenced to death three people convicted of intentionally adulterating milk products with melamine last year.

They have now shut down a second plant of theirs in Texas.

18 months earlier, China executed the head of its food and drug safety agency for taking bribes. His lack of oversight eventually lead to the sickening of thousands of children and hundreds of deaths.

When Melamine killed pets in the US, it was on CNN nightly for almost 3 weeks straight, until the death of Anna Nicole changed the media focus. Where is the out rage in the actions of Peanut Corp? Where are the protests? The letters to the FDA? Where is the outrage?

The failure of the FDA in both the pet food recall and the current peanut butter recall should lead consumers to action and the FDA to being reorganized. Unfortunately, consumers are quite content to ignore again what is in their food.
Friday, February 06, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Where Can I Buy this?


someone sent this pic to me, but I can't find the t-shirt!
Thursday, February 05, 2009

PostHeaderIcon Trifecta of Disaster

So, again, it's been awhile since I've updated, but here's the latest. I had a crazy friend talk me off the fence about a triathlon. Found one for July, so luckily I have some time, but not much.

First things first, I have to learn to swim. Keep in mind, I can swim playing around at the pool, lake, or in the ocean, but have never swam a lap before Jan 2009. Seriously. So, I noticed the community center is offering a triathlon swim class on Saturday mornings. I take it and have been trying to practice at lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

This weeks practice? The trifecta of disaster.

First. I walk out in my swim suit to only discover another trader from another company works out at my gym and is sitting in the hot tub. I've known him 12 years. Greeeeat, an audience. Disaster part 1.

Secondly, I suck at swimming. Truly this is one of the hardest things I've had to learn and I hate not doing anything well. I am also convinced I am going to die this summer of cancer of the stomach considering how much pool water I manage to ingest. Dear lord, how hard can this be? I gulp so much air, I burp chlorinated water for an hour after practicing. My stomach will hurt for 2 hours after a practice haha

Third, the middle aged men at the pool don't help. They are swimming 2 or 3 laps to my one then like to head over to the hot tub and watch me struggle. Keep in mind, these men have bellies bigger round than my ass circumference and look like they would have a coronary if they tried touch football with their grandkids. They like to comment on how "this week looks a lot better than last". Did I mention colleague from other company is watching all of this?

So, add together:
water in stomach +
middle aged men kicking my butt +
audience from a colleague I wish had never seen me in a swim suit
= trifecta for disaster.

Said friend who kicked me off the fence? He said, "it sucks until it doesn't." I hope he's right.
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Quotes as I come across them......

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, an hour, a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it last forever.” ~~~Lance Armstrong

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." ~~~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

"I like running because it's a challenge. If you run hard, there's the pain----and you've got to work your way through the pain. You know, lately it seems all you hear is 'Don't overdo it' and 'Don't push yourself.' Well, I think that's a lot of bull. If you push the human body, it will respond." ~~~Bob Clarke, Philadelphia Flyers general manager, NHL Hall of Famer. (Will-Weber's "Voices From the Midpack" chapter.)

The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.~~~Denis Watley

Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and however early a man's training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly. ~~~Thomas H. Huxley (1825 - 1895)

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