Friday, June 27, 2008

Just 10%

Yesterday at Weight Watchers I reached a milestone, since April I have lost 10% of my original starting body weight. For reaching this dubious accomplishment, I received a key chain. Its kind of like being a kid and getting the prize in the Cracker Jack box, that little thing means so much more than it should. The stop along the way on my journey is nice. Its like the trip we take to my parents, there is much expectation to get to the stopping point and a recognition that if we just keep going we will get there although it will take time.

What else comes with losing 10% of your body weight?

Lower blood pressure & cholesterol-with a family history of heart disease and prior problems of my own this is important to me. My doctor recently put me back on BP meds at a very low dose because in his office my BP was high. Hopefully I can get back off these meds soon!

Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes-again its in the genes and I showed my susceptibility to it when I was pregnant, I'd like to continue to ward it off for as long as possible.

Gain energy-I have to say I do feel better and am able to keep going longer, whether it be in triathlon training or just making it through a hectic day at home and work.

Reduce pain-Check, this is one I can definitely see. My joints were surprisingly tolerant of running at a higher weight but I have noticed lately that even after a long, hard workout I don't feel it later nearly as much. Part of this is certainly the muscle and stamina I've gained as well.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wild Wild Week

Last week this time I was gearing up for my trip to Ohio to pick up PDQ & Boobah. As it ended up my best friend's new baby was rushed to a medical center out of town so I ended up driving there on my way to Ohio. Wow, even a major city in WV is culture shock after living on the East Coast for 10 years! Everyone had a twang, there were hair cuts I haven't seen (nor wanted to) since 1987! Can you say mullets and hair sprayed for height? It was a good distraction from the business at hand. As it turned out poor little guy had an E Coli infection, very scary stuff. Good news, he got to come home yesterday, much to the relief of his incredibly tired parents!

The girls and I spent the weekend with my folks, sister and nephews. We saw all the other relevant relatives, swam in grandma's pool and made the obligatory trip to the mall. My sister and I ran together on Saturday morning for the first time ever. She is the jock, having rowed in high school and trained for a half marathon but getting pregnant stopped her from actually completing the race. My new found running ability and her being 6 months post-partum made for a fun, comfortable run for both of us. It also made me think I'd love to have a running partner well matched for pace or who would push me just a bit.

Finally it was back home in time for the Brownie end of the year party followed quickly by the beginning of Vacation Bible School at our church. I am the craft lady again this year and was totally unprepared. Thank goodness for the great Power Lab craft kits from Group, good instructions, not much else I needed to buy. Easy Peasy. The kids this year have been fun and good to work with. Bonus, it starts with dinner every night so NO cooking! We will see how that plays at my weigh in today!

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin--RIP

I remember feeling naughty listening to George Carlin and his 7 dirty words. I read today that he never thought his legacy would be what people are allowed to say on television. I have never watched George and not laughed, no matter how irreverent, he is just plain funny. So enjoy a little bit of George Carlin, gone today at 71.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bikini Blues

The bikini blues are nothing new for me, I've never, ever had a bikini ready body. At this point in my life, even if I get to my goal weight, I am pretty sure that I wouldn't want to be seen in public in a bikini. Thirty odd years of stretched out skin doesn't bounce back so well. I would guess, if there was any bikini-ness in my future it would be a bikini top. My two c-sectioned belly and mutant thighs are not something anyone else should be sujected to.

That being said, being comfortable wearing a bikini is not one of my goals. Being comfortable in my skin is. Being comfortable in a tri suit is another goal I'd like to reach. Moving from the world of the sedentary into the world of triathlons is certainly an eye opening experience. The amount of skin, really taut, muscular skin is amazing! As are the number of women who aren't so taut and toned but are still in great shape and are out there proving it to the world swimming, biking and running no matter what they look like. Its these women I find far more amazing than the hard bodied bikini babes.

The folks at BOCA are sponsoring this Bikini Blues Blog Blast along with my friends at Parent Bloggers. Have a bikini story of your own to tell? Write a post, let them know at Parent Bloggers and have a chance to win one of three $150 gift cards!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Death and taxes

We got a notice a few weeks ago that they'd found issues with our 2006 tax return and we owe the government money. Since I generally do the taxes I was of course freaked out. I was also amazed that we had gotten a BIG FAT ENVELOPE FROM THE IRS and my dear husband didn't open it! I can let a lot of things lay around but a BIG FAT ENVELOPE FROM THE IRS can't possibly be good. Thus began the search for all of our 2006 tax information--yes, the year we sold a house, bought a house and carried three mortgages for a period of time--paperwork hell.

Given that our deadline to respond is Monday I finally sucked it up and re-did the 2006 taxes this evening. According to my estimates we owe but we don't owe as much as the IRS says we owe. So now, do I send a check for the whole amount or just what I think I owe plus the interest? How do I figure the interest on a lower amount? Its not that much difference but I really don't want to give them any more money than I have to, I also don't want to have to pay additional interest on money they've loaned me for the last year. Ugh.

I've got to say that the whole you owe us interest thing really ticks me off. I made a mistake, fine. But you are going to make me not only pay back the money but interest for my mistake that it took you over a year to find? Gheesh, that seems unfair somehow. Oh well. Gman's turn now, I will never, ever send in another tax form until he has gone over it with a fine tooth comb!

Monday, June 16, 2008

I AM a triathlete

South Carroll Tri to Win Sprint Triathlon

SWIM 13:27 400m

The swim was uneventful, it was a pool swim and someone held us at the mat until a lane opened up. The guy in the other half of my lane was doing some bizarre frog-like thing for a lap or two, I was so glad when someone else got in.

On with the cycling jersey, gloves, socks, shoes, open up the beans, chew a couple. I have to say the big surprise here was WET socks! Had a great rack position right next to the bike & run out.

Bike 1:04:51
This course is really hilly, I conquered the first couple of hills without problems, felt strong. The third in the series always gets me. My HR was creeping up so near the top I walked a bit to save something. Did the same thing on the next really long, gradual hill. Got passed by several people here. After these hills were done I knew it was time to hammer. Passed 3-4 people in this stretch. One poor guy lost a crank at mile 8 of 14.7 and was riding in with one leg. There are two climbs at the end, I walked the top part of the first one, its an increasingly steep hill up and around a bend--crankless guy and I walked it together. I got a head of steam and determination and ground up the final steep hill and after that it was back up the driveway into the transition area. There was a dude on a motorcycle who kept showing up at every intersection screaming you can do it. It was cool the first couple of times, after that it got annoying!

T2 2:57

Quick out of the shoes, on with the running shoes. Love my lace locks! Took a big drink, my hydration on the bike was so-so. Almost ran out with my cycling gloves, ran back and took them off.

RUN (or trudge as the case may be) 43:24

The beginning of the course wound back behind the swim center on grass and then a rough gravel path--I heard several people say it was longer than 5K. I took it easy here worrying about a twisted ankle. I walked through the water station and then started jogging up the hill. Stopped to walk one more time on the uphill. Walked through water at the top of the hill and was glad to start the mostly downhill trip back. Walked through the final water station and ran the rest of the way back UP the driveway across the line. My girls came out and ran with me.

It was great fun and only 68 days until the next one. Definitely need to go out and ride hills to prepare!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I finished!

2:07:59 of swimming, biking and running all done by 10:30 this morning. Great experience! Will write more later, now I need a NAP!

Updated: Because of my long name I read the wrong time, its actually 2:08:08. :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Swim, Change, Bike, Change, Run

This morning I did my last race prep. I got my bike out and set up my transition area on the front porch before driving to the pool for the swim.

Swim-once I got warmed up it was okay but I did have a gasping, turn on my back moment when I inhaled a little water. Good to know I can do that and flip back over and keep swimming.

T1-when I was on my way home from the pool I realized I didn't lay out my helmet and glasses. Luckily I knew where the helmet was and I had Gman's glasses. Wasn't I pleased to find my glasses attached to my helmet :)

Bike-everything started out well on the bike. Legs a little tight, telling myself to just spin and warm up. First obstacle, dude in an Excursion decides to pull a U-turn RIGHT FREAKING BESIDE ME. He has like no turning radius in that beast and was frighteningly close to me, I managed to pull my foot out and stop to keep myself from getting smashed. He didn't even give me a second look--jackhole! After that things started falling apart. I thought the uneven feeling on the seat was just my suit and shorts sliding around-I wanted to test the combo today. Nope, that wasn't it, my seat was lose. When I could I stopped and got out my tools. Sure enough, I don't have a wrench for that in my bag. Didn't throw my cell phone in either. A guy in a mini-van with a bike rack stopped and offered to help, unfortunately he didn't have anything with him. I thanked him profusely and decided to just head home. Of course, like always it happened when I was halfway into the loop so it wasn't like one way was shorter than the other. I managed to make it home but it was an uncomfortable ride with lots of pressure on the lady garden. Occasionally I had to stop and wrench the seat forward so it didn't end up pointing straight up while climbing. I needed practice out of the saddle, bad way to get it.

T2-uneventful, quick!

Run-my legs were tight getting started, ran uphill to start, just like the race. Just did a short loop to get everything pumping.

Home again! Stretched out good. Now off to wash things up and make sure I am ready for tomorrow! Yikes--less than 24 hours!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Think Thin Thursday Update & Triathlon Obsessions

Yesterday was one of the first times I didn't obsess about going into my weigh-in. I was pretty sure I'd gained weight and I'd made peace with it. The nutiness in my head thanks to hormones and pre-race freakiness were all I could deal with. Really, the one other time I gained weight I lost over 5 pounds the next week. I have been seriously lax in keeping track of what I am eating on paper although the calculator in my head is pretty effective if I do say so myself. I was the first one to the scale (I'd actually left a conference call online in my office to go face the numbers). The same. Never have I been so happy to hear that. So still hanging in there at 22.6 pounds lost.

OK, my nutiness about the whole tri thing this weekend. I called my favorite acupuncturist yesterday and told him I'd worked myself into a dither and begged for a pity appointment. I must say, it worked like magic, I am pretty sure I fell asleep on the table with skillfully placed needles doing their magic.

I hadn't really slept much since Sunday obsessing over what to wear, the bike rides, all the unknowns that come with doing something for the first time and who knows what else! I am not the least worried about finishing last, I can't actually pinpoint what it is that I *am* worried about. I just know that my mind is, for the first time in a long, long time, moving at warp speed and keeping me awake. The fact that my dear friend AF also showed up this week didn't help and does help explain my slug-like feelings and desire to curl up in a ball and ignore the rest of the world.

I got a stern talking to yesterday morning by Esmerelda about needing to not go to the dark side and just treat this like any other training session. She and Mr. Don convinced me that I need to worry about myself and not my family, the kids, and all the other people who are in my head along with the race stuff.

The countdown is seriously on. By the time the weekend is over I should be an official triathlete. Breathe--in, out.

Congrats to Greeblemonkey the lucky winner of the personalized My Fruit Roll Ups. My girls were glad to pitch in and pick a number out of a hat to determine the winner. Thanks again to the Fruit Roll Up folks and Parent Bloggers Network for sponsoring this giveaway!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Fun run?

Esmerelda (sorry dude for the eyes closed picture, usually that is my role!) and I signed up our whole families for the Howard County library's summer reading kick-off fun run/walk this morning. What a great way to promote reading AND fitness--I hope the kids soaked in a little of the meaning. The seven of us headed out into the fog--yes fog, it was so humid that you could SEE it. The group was relatively small and Esmerelda and I settled in with the four year olds in the jogging stroller at the back of the runners pack. Gman took the older kids (& many pictures but none of all of us) and stayed with the walkers. 2.5 miles I thought, piece of cake. Sponge cake perhaps. I was soaking wet and had it dripping off the end of my nose before we'd gone a quarter of a mile. I had no idea that pushing the stroller would take so much extra energy. Maybe my arms DO help when I run.

Es' younger son, Tippy Tornado, urged her on "faster mommy, I want to go faster!" There is motivation for you-NOT. Boobah joined in a time or two but thankfully just settled in for the ride most of the time. It seemed lik 90% of the run was uphill, really, is that possible? Our goal was to stay ahead of the walkers. Then we noticed the guy with the purple stroller behind us, I don't know if he was jogging or just walking incredibly fast but it became VERY important to stay. in. front. And we did. Es called it the "Bredders Cup." There was a fast guy with a stroller so we finished second and third in a field of four in the self proclaimed stroller division.

After we finished up the pointed us to food and water. I immediately thought of Pasta Queen, there were Panera Cinnamon Crunch bagels free for the taking. It made the miserable run worth it--eating half that bagel without guilt. As we discussed our strategy to stay in front of the guy with the stroller he let us know that he was keeping us in sight, he didn't want to get smoked too badly. HA! Gman was the big winner for the day winning door prize tickets to the Body Worlds exhibit at the Maryland Science Center.
So that post was actually written on Saturday but blogger appeared to have eaten it for lunch. I went back and looked and there was no draft. Alas today, there it was so enjoy the regurgitated post.
Holy cow, three days until race day! This week has had me seriously on edge thinking, thinking, thinking the whole darned thing over. I was up obsessing over the bike route on Sunday night, see here is the fruit of my labors, an elevation of the course. I haven't worked out much, I know its supposed to be a taper but I feel like I have taken it a bit too seriously. The weather has been miserable hot, its the end of the school year, birthday parties galore and work is hoppin' as well and I just kind of generally feel like a slug. Perhaps it is my body telling me to slooooooow down.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Think Thin Thursday Update

Yesterday I did 2 work-outs, a 2 mile run at lunch and a 14.5 mile ride last night or maybe a 14 mile ride and .5 mile walk. It was hot and those hills are going to be the death of me. I can't decide how much is physically and how much is psychological. Now, on top of that my blood pressure was really high at the allergist and my pcp wants me to have an exercise stress test. Of course he'd like me to have it before the tri next weekend. Yeah, good luck buddy--they only do them once a week, they have me scheduled for 7/31. He told me I should be fine but not to push it too hard. And what exactly *is* too hard? That certainly added to my bad hill mojo last night, especially at the tippy top of the biggest hill when my heart rate was 183. I made it to the top but then I got off to rest and hydrate. I'd hate to have to do it during the race though.

At my weigh in yesterday I dropped another 2.2 pounds for a total of 22.8. With thin thoughts in my head I went out today to buy a few new, smaller clothes. Mostly I've been "shopping" in my skinnier clothes. Unfortunately the realities reared their ugly head, even when you are thinner and have more choices in clothes it still doesn't mean they will fit or be flattering!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Maven Says: Fancy Fun Fruit!

Every year I struggle to find something new and different for birthday party goodie bags. I hate the cheesy toys that break the minute we get home, the last thing my kid needs is more candy and I am horrible about ordering cool stuff from a place like Oriental Trading Company in time for the party (and sometimes that leads to #!). Parent Bloggers Network recently gave me the opportunity to try My Fruit Roll-ups which, in my opinion are a solution to the goodie bag dilemma. What, might you ask, makes these fruit roll-ups so special? Its all about personalization baby!

The user friendly My Fruit Roll-Ups site is easy to navigate, fun to use and even lets you take a peek into an animation of what part of the manufacturing process your special fruit roll-ups are in. There are art options, font options, color options and pattern options presented in a way that makes them easy to use. My favorite part is that you aren't committed after trying something the first time, you can keep trying combinations until you hit on the perfect combination of designs and messages.

I ordered my My Fruit Roll-Ups for Boobah's fifth birthday this summer. You could also order them as a special lunch treat with a message to your kids, buy a box to celebrate the end of the sports season, graduation or a change of pace at any special school event.

And now, here is YOUR chance to try it out for FREE!

  1. Click on over to the My Fruit Roll-Up website

  2. Peruse the design options

  3. Leave me a comment telling me your favorite design choice by June 9, noon EST.

  4. I'll pick a winner at random for a free box of your very own My Fruit Roll-Ups

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Graduation Overload

In the past two weeks we've been to two high school graduation parties, last night my stepson graduated from middle school and tonight Boobah graduates from preschool. Needless to say I have been up to my eyeballs in creamy cake icing, hamburgers and hot dogs. The world's second most expensive preschool does preschool graduation up right, real caps and gowns, community auditorium and they even took them yesterday morning for practice walking across the stage and singing their songs. I am sure I will cry like a baby.

Given the parties of the past two weeks, including a high school graduation party complete with Sumo Wrestling suits and a dalmatian moon bounce (pictures to come), I should have seen it coming.

Boobah (from the back seat of the van): "Mommy, do *I* get a graduation party?"
My mind: You are 4, its preschool, we are not having a party!
My mouth: "how about Rita's?"
Boobah: "That's good."

Esmerelda and boys are coming to celebrate Boobah's big event with us tonight, she demanded that Tippy Tornado and Es be in attendance. Es said that she has some graduation decorations so I am sure that will endear her to Boobah forever (as if she isn't already!)

I ran 3.5 miles this morning at 5:50, my longest run yet. It felt good, morning is definitely going to be my go-to time of day for the summer, the heat really kills me. This morning was in the upper 50s and it was actually nice to be outside.