Thursday, May 31, 2012

Good Things Come in Small Packages

Awww, come on, do you really think I would be that obvious?
Nuh uh.  If we were gonna talk about makin' whoopie, I would have been much more ambiguous.
Like, calling it "door sanding".  Or something like that.
Wait, what?
Never mind.
I really want to talk about small packages. terms of food.
Have you walked away yet?  No?  Good.  Cause I've found some pretty good mini's this week...and turned one into a yummy treat!
First up....fruit.  I am secretly an 80 year old woman and eat oatmeal every morning for breakfast.  1/2 cup oats, half naner, cinnamon, and chopped almonds.   Serve alongside some greek yogurt and it's the perfect amount of carbs, protein and fat to keep me going till noon.  Minor problem?  What do you do with the other half of a banana?
My trick right now....I slice up the half banana, then pop the other half in the freezer.  I can nuke it the next day for breakfast #2 (melted banana is freakin' amazing) or I can save a few halves and make the famed banana soft serve.  Try it, you can thank me later!
However, I struck gold yesterday at the store:
How cute are these guys?  Super sweet, perfect size and clearance priced to boot! (11 minis for 53 cents, how can you beat that?)  So now I can slice up a naner for breakfast and be good to go, no mess, no freezer, and a great breakfast.  Woot!
Or...'shrooms.  I got a cute container of baby shrooms that needed to be eaten ASAP (for a buck, hello!), so I googled a few recipes and came up with a spin off of my own....I give you:
Loaded Baby Shrooms! (Guilt free stuffed mushrooms)
You're gonna need:
1 8 oz package baby mushrooms (about 11-12)
1/4 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
Fresh Thyme (or dried)
Nature Seasoning (TSA seasoning)
2 strips Turkey Bacon

Pan fry the turkey bacon in a bit of cooking spray.  Let cool. De-stem the mushrooms, saving a few of the stem bits.  Chop them up, along with turkey bacon, into small bits.  Mix with Greek yogurt and thyme.  Rinse mushroom caps, dry tops with paper towel.  Stuff the inside with yogurt mixture. Top with shredded cheese and sprinkle with Nature's seasoning.  Load onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
Serves one...a perfect summer side dish!

3 cheers for mini food!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Him Training Week 11 ( enty billion): That's not even a number! (yet)

 The beauty of a 4 day work week? Wednesday comes sooner :-)  I dunno why that's exciting, with the possible exception of the weekend approaching faster....let's go with that one, yeah!
It was a turning point in the good ole training week...and unfortunately, not a good one.  Before we get into brass tacks, should you be confused by my oh so crafty title, go check this SNL skit won't be disappointed,  Trust me.  If you are, you probably think this blog's sorta lame anyways, so no biggie :-P
Back to training.  What an idiot week.  As you're aware, I hung out this week and hoped like hell my foot would magically get better.
It did (so I could run).  Yay!
And then, it didn't.  Let's look at the stats, k?

Week 11: The Stats
Swim:  8100 meters (3 swims)  Great recovery workouts!
Bike:  125 miles (3  rides)  No bricks yet, obvi. 
Run: 15.4 miles (2 runs)
Strength: 2 abs sessions...slack alert again!
  2yoga sessions (Trying to stretch it out pre and post race)
Week High: Actually being able to run  the Buffalo Half.  I was pretty concerned that wasn't going to happen, and even thought I didn't come close to PRing, I was extremely happy to be able to run.  Was it the perfect race?  no freakin way.  But I was luky to be able to do it.  I forgot to mention this in my race report about mile 5, I ran by a woman and man taking turns pushing a stroller with their son.  They were running the full.  Their son was in his twenties and physically disabled.  I ran alongside them for a bit and chatted...they were super friendly and their son was just so darn happy to be out really out things in perspective.  Sure, I might have a lame foot, but let's talk about remembering why we are so lucky to even b able to walk.  Food for thought. 
Week Low: Well, it wasn't the week I expected, of course.  But I can't complain, seeing as I might not have even been able to run.  I just hope I can get better in the next few weeks!

Dr. Peggy's Motivational Thoughts. So true.
Let's talk about that, shall we?  My foot has been...a mess lately.  I think whatever has been going on with it was masked by "sea urchin foot" (this is NOT sea urchin foot).  I thought that for a few weeks.  Then I thought I might have overcompensated for that by supinating.  Now I don;t think that's it, either.  So, fine.  I finally talked to my doc and have an appointment with a podiatrist on Monday.  (No "I told you so's"....remember, you love me :-P).  So, we'll see what happens.  I'm off the foot this week, icing, resting, elevating, and playing it smart.  Today is the first day I can actually walk, so hopefully that means good things!  I am supposed to run a trail race this weekend....I give that 5% of happening (miracles can happen).  But leaning....NOT.  Musselman is 7 weeks away and that is so much more important than this race guy this weekend.  Yes?  Yes. goals for these upcoming weeks....
Be kind to my foot.
Listen to my body.
Work on my bike and swim.
Know that I CAN run and should not stress if I can't for a few weeks.
And never forget how lucky I am to be able to do anything like this!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Buffalo Marathon Race Report: "Gun"ning for the Run

Phew.  Long weekend, done.  How is it that 3 days off can be so exhausting?  Yes, I know...lame.  But true :-P  But in the interest of dragging it out as long as possible...(plus I know you're all on the edge of your seats)...let's go back to the weekend and talk about the race half marathon...Buffalo time!
Way back in the day (okay, about a month ago) I was trying to PR in this race.  Sub 1:50.  I knew I could do it.  The course is flat, fast, and held in May, so it was probably gonna be cooler.
Then...foot intervened.  No, it's not sea urchin foot, I swear.  The nettles dissolved and I was good to go...until two weeks ago, when I began to have a throbbing pain in the ball of my foot.  I iced, rested, and cut back on those runs.  Race wee-massive foot pain.  I considered not even running it, but talked with the hubster and we decided to make it a game day decision.  Either way, i scrubbed my PR goal-no sense asking for failure.  My primary goal was to finish the race!
Fine.  I can see I can't get away with lying to you.
I would have been happy finishing.
But I wanted a sub 2:00.  I'm an elitist jerk, what can I say.  Every half I've done has been between 1:50 and 1:59...and I like seeing the number "1" in front of my half time.
Whew.  I knew you would understand.
Race morning, I felt okay enough to start.  Some pain, not too much.  So I loaded up on Ibuprofin (so classy), rolled, and let r rip.  One switch-I thought it might be my shoes causing the problem, so I switched back to my trusty dusty old Asics.  Not ideal, as they are well over their 500 miles, but I started having momre severe issues when I switched shoes, so why borrow trouble?
Did my pre-race thang.  Ready to rock.  Tummy, on.  Legs, on.  Foot?  We'll see.
The start line was a friggin mess.  They had the streets fenced off at least a quarter of a mile back, so it was super hard to get lined up.  I ended up lining up with the 2:20 pacers because I physically could not get up any further.  (I would have ideally lined up with 1:50's...I tend to go out a bit harder in mile 1 and then settle in).  I didn't have a problem with this, as the race officials told us our chip time would count, not gun time.  So until we crossed the start line, "time" did not start.  (This was not the case.  More on that later).
Needless to say, the start was a cluster...ahem.  I crossed the start line almost 3 minutes after the gun went off amidst people WALKING.  Guys, this is a race!  Let's go!  So I started weaving around people like it was my job.  For 3 miles.  Potholes.  Sidewalks.  Dodging trees.  Lame.  (I would have loved to wear the Garmin, I'm sure this did a number on my "tangent running".)  It was a mess.  I think the race director should seriously consider corrals or a staggered half/full start.
Anyways.  I hit my pace about mile 3 (25:00) and was holding a steady 8:20-8:30 mile pace.  The course would through downtown Buffalo, by Lake Erie, then did a nice out and back through town.
There were no hills.  Slight inclines at a few causeways (some people called these hills.  I laughed). 
The weather held.  It was 68 degrees and cloudy.  Humid, but no 90.
The crowds were awesome (go see my last post for the poop sign.  Hilarious).
The water stops were staffed well (they weren't where they said they would be can't have it all, right?)
There were too many effin turns.  They changed the course this year and it was a pain in the butt.  Super hard to run tangents.
There were 3 turn arounds...and no timing mats at the turn arounds.  You know what that means.  Super lame course cutters.  I did get to see the hubster twice, though!
The Pacer shirts were the same color as the marathon shirts.  For people that race in the race shirt (which is surprisingly common) that made seeing the pacers pretty rough.  I wasn't relying on them, so it wasn't an issue, but worth nothing
My race went pretty well until about mile 9.  My foot hurt, but manageable hurt.  It actually hurt more to walk then run, which kept me going.  I wish I could say I saw the course, but I was focused on three things:  1.  My foot.  Reassess after every step.  2.  My watch.  Ticking off splits not too fast, not too slow.  3.  My music.  Kept me sane and not snippy at the crazy amount of people who have no clue about run etiquette.
I kept ticking the miles off steadily, and held with the 1:55 pace group until about mile 10.  I had no clue what time they actually started, so I had no clue what time I was paced for (remember, I started 3 minutes late).
About mile 10, my foot started to throb, so I pulled off, took off my shoe, and stretched.  I decided that a 1:55 wasn't going to happen, and I was okay with that.  I took the last 5k slowly...ran 5 minutes, stretched.  Ran 5 minutes, stretched.  My legs and lungs felt awesome.  My foot....was ready to be done.
Before I know it, I saw the 12 mile mark and looked down at my watch...1:48.  I knew I could do a 1:56 or 1:57, which was fine by me!  I took one last stretch break and let r rip.  My foot had other ideas.  I gave it a stern talking to, gritted my teeth, and gunned those last 9 minutes to the finish.
Official finish time:  1:57:16
Official Distance (hubster wore his garmin) 13.36 miles
Pace:  8:47/mile
Nowhere near the PR I hoped for, but I was happy as hell.  I hobbled over to the med tent, grabbed some ice, and started the rehab process.
Overall, a decent course.  And I have no doubt I could have nailed it out of the park if I was time, right?
We'll see.  After the race, we all convened and headed back to Brennan's (our friend in Buffalo who kindly let us stay with him), showered and drove home.  Later that evening, the results were posted.  I checked out my placing and time....1:59:51?  I was confused.  That was my "gun time" (the time from when the gun went off)...what about my chip time?  I sent the organizer a message and they told me that the results were posted via gun time and that chip times would be out later.
True to form, my chip time came out (1:57:16), but the results stayed with gun time.  I came in in the top 20% of my AG and gender, and the top 25% overall, which was awesome...but....there were dozens of women slower than I that came out "ahead" of me because they were able to get up closer to the start line.  And out of the 2500 half marathoners, almost 100 that came in "ahead" of me but actually had a slower time.
What the??
Now, let me be clear.  I wasn't going for a placement.  I came in 70th out of 350 people in my AG, so no cash money was coming to me.  But there's something off about results being posted that way, I think. I checked out a bunch of local races and it's usually the other way record both gun time and chip time (which I have NO issue with) but post results off chip time.  I'm sorry to say, but this reinforces the idea that one should shove their way up as close as possible to the start line even if they have no business being there to start ASAP. 
Think about it.  person A starts out one minute post gun time and finishes the half marathon in 1:58.  I start out 3 minutes post gun time and finish in 1:57.  She beats me?  What?
Hmm.  I'm a little annoyed about this, but, like I said, this was not an "A" race.  I am super happy I just was able to run.  But I won't kid with you, it gives me pause to run it again.  Or, if I did, I would line up at 6:15 (race started at 7, we tried to line up at 6:40ish) and just park my butt at the front and be "that guy".  So there :-P
Thoughts on this?  Have you ever been to a race where they based placement off of gun time?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Long Weekend Fun

Hey hey!  How was your weekend?  We're still enjoying over here....
so stay tuned for race recap tomorrow!
Yes, I ran.
(I won't say was not a race for time here).
I lived.
Was it smart?  Who knows :-P  Probably not, but I'm still alive!
Check it out:
Time for a first half marathon!  (Spoiler: He rocked it)
Amped Hubster.  (Brave guy-he finished strong after an epic meltdown at mile 10!)
And clearly, I just wanted to sleep  (Maybe this was a sign?)
The signs were epic (photo courtesy of Score This!)
The crowd, ridiculous.  (Mile 1...more on that tomorrow)
But we finished (bum foot and all.  Bonus!)

13.1 (well, 13.36) miles down., it was time to get our BBQ on!

Cause it wouldn't be a family picnic without THE MUG.
Patriotic homemade carrot cake!
And cutthroat Uno (an oxymoron?  Not in this family!)

Awesome weekend :-)  And after putting our house back together and getting some chores done, the hubster and I are spending the rest of this 90 degree day on the couch watching bad 80s movies (War Games, anyone?) Happy Memorial Day, everyone!  I hope your weekend was wonderful and take a minute to remember all those that fought for our country...Thank you, brave soldiers.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Let's go (to) Buffalo!!

Hmmm...well, 36 hours out, I'm still on the fence about Buffalo.  The foot feels okay today, still kinda sore, but I've been golf balling, icing and stretching like a mo-fo, and also trying to stay off of it.  Thank you so much for your comments, emails, texts and calls today....I heart you all so much.  And the only one who gave me the what to how for...well, I told him he could.  And yes, Dads, I did call the doctor....I hope to hear back next week (they were out for the afternoon).
So....we're gonna baby this sucker and make a decision Sunday morning.  Either way, the hubster and I will be heading out to Blo tomorrow to hang out with our friend Brennan, who is also running.  We'll spend the night and catch up, and see if I can toe the line with the two of them on Sunday.  I sure hope so!
Usually, I do a post about my race goals...and I fully planned to with Buffalo.
2 weeks ago, it would have looked something like this:
C goal:  Finish
B goal:  1:55
A goal:  1:49:59

Today? It looks like this.

B goal:  Start the race
A Goal:  Finish the race
That is all.  So, I'm prepping like it's gonna my run stuff ready to rock n roll and a play list on my mp3 player....fingers and toes crossed!  In the meantime, I'm picking the most whacked out music to load onto my player to make me laugh....but I found the ultimate song for the Buffalo Half....

Sabres Dance!
Rock n sock em!  Here's to a (hopefully) successful weekend!  What's on tap for everyone?  Any fun races?  Parties?  Pools I can crash post race? :-)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The "pied" piper

Oh, my friends.  I need some mental hugs. I am not having a good day.
 Let me tell you the story about the "pied" piper.
Not the fairy tale.
About my "pied"-french word for foot.  And it's not so nice piping up.....or...yelling.
See....about a month ago, I wrote a post about my sea urchin foot.  Lamely, I decided to step on one of those guys during our trip to wasn't bright.  I was advised that I should try to get the stinger pieces out, soak the foot in vinegar, and the pain would go away.
It did.
For about a week.
Hawt wrap.
 Then I started to get some pain near the ball of my foot and on the top parts (about 2 weeks ago).  I could still run and walk okay...about a 5 on a scale of 1 being a stubbed toe and 10 being mile 25 of Ironman.  Iced.  Took easy runs.  Elevated.
Last week, the pain got a bit worse.  I took the week off from running.....resuming my long run last Saturday.  The foot didn't hurt too bad during the run or after, but started to throb the next day.
Ugh.  3 days till Buffalo.
Let's elevate and stay the eff off it.
I called my doc today and left a message requesting a referral to a podiatrist (they don't work on Thursdays).  I bought a wrap.  Told myself that i would go out for a 2 mile test run to see how I felt.  If it didn't go well, I'd nix the race on Sunday.  At this point, I don't care about time, I just want to run...but not at the expense of my entire season....or life.
The first 5 minutes felt like continuously stepping on a tack.  Then, it got a bit better.  I breezed through the miles at a sub 8 minute pace (hello tapered legs and body!) but at about mile 1.75, it tarted to hurt again.
I ice bathed.  Ibu-profined.  Stretched over a golf ball (hurts so good).
I can run.
But should I?  (Please note that that is a hypothetical question.  I will work through this on my own and come up with whats best for me with the help of the hubster.  So unless you birthed me (haha, she doesn't read my blog anyways), I married you, or I call you Dad....I just need hugs.  Those guys are good at kicking me in the butt.  I can't handle any more :-))
Big breath out.
I know I can get through this one.  Just a little down.
Know what fixes everything, though?
Chinese food (you didn't think I was going to leave you hanging on that crappy note, did you?)
And when you make's even better than take out....and cheaper, too :-P
Sesame Chicken in the Crock
4 chicken thighs
2 heads broccoli
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 cup low fat ginger sesame dressing
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 med. onion (who somehow escaped my picture!)
garlic powder
2 cups whole wheat pasta, cooked (or brown rice)

Sear the chicken thighs in oil over a skillet until brown on the outside.  Chop the broccoli and place at the bottom of the crock.  Place chicken and pan drippings over broccoli, shake in garlic powder, dressing and soy sauce.  Let simmer on low for 4 hours.  Serve over pasta.
 Simple.  Comforting.  And hey, at least I didn't add any cat
....or foot.
Tomorrow will be better.
I hope.
For now, I'll just eat some of my chickidee china...da chinese chicken.  
Small things, right? :-)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Rule of 20

Is it friggin Friday yet?  No?  Darn.  Well, onto today then.  First of all, if you wandered over from Healthy Tipping Point, welcome to Tri'ing for Balance!  I attempt to blog on triathlon, running, healthy, easy eats (and some indulgences) with a hefty dose of sarcasm and my own brand of humor as I bumble my way around life :-)Onto our regularly scheduled show.
I know I sound like a broken record, but the world is spinning in super speed mode lately.  Work is insane, my social life is hoppin (I know, first world problems and all) and all the spring chores are poppin up.  We need to get ready for our Gananda garage sale.  I have a half marathon this weekend (lets hope I can run.  Different story entirely).  And at least one thing on my calendar every weekend until August 11th :-P  Whew.  All fun things, but let's face it.  I'm an introvert.  I draw my energy from being with me.  So how do I find me time?  I multi task.
All I need is twenty minutes.
I learned this trick 9 years a 21 year old between junior and senior years of college and 25 pounds overweight, I knew I needed the rule of twenty.
And now, I need it purely for my sanity.
Whats the rule of 20?  Well, it has two parts.
Rule #1:  Try to get in twenty minutes of activity a day.  Back in the day, I used 20 minute DVDs...Denise Austin Kickboxing, Tae Bo, weights.  5 times a week.  12 weeks later, I was down twenty pounds.  Can't beat that.  Nowadays, I try for an hour, but twenty minutes is my "try every day" minimum.  I still enjoy Denise Austin, or "Ten Minute Solutions", or I will do a "tri" 20 minute workout....a 20 minute tempo run, a series of swim repeats, or bike intervals.  If I still feel it after 20 minutes (or have the time), I will go 45 or 60 minutes.  But if not, no pressure.
Today, I got home from work and needed to do something.  I had 5 hours worth of meetings today and was a go go go all day.  Oiy.  I felt like hitting the couch when I stumbled home at 6pm.  But I also felt tetchy and irritated, and knew I would be miserable tonight to the hubster if I didn't blow off some steam.  Foot still hurt.  So I headed for the bike (trainer).
20 minute plan:  5 minute warm up, 5 30" sprints with 90" recover, 5 minute cool down.

Not my 80/20, but it sounds about right!
 An hour later, I got off the bike.  I was tired, of course, but ready to finish the day, frustrations taken out on those sprints, sweat dripping down my face.  Twenty minutes....turned into 60.  It was one of those days.
Other days?  Well, 20 is good.  It might not seem like much, but it's something :-)
The other rule of 20?
Rule #2:  Good ole 80/20 rule.  I admit I'm not the best example sometimes, but I really try to follow the 80/20 rule of eating-80% good stuff and 20% fun stuff.  Most nights, this equates to a cup of animal crackers and a handful of M&Ms or a cup of hot cocoa and pudding.  Yum.  Somehow, I manage to avoid the sweet tooth monster if I know I have a fun snack planned for later.  It got me through my weight loss days back in 2003, and I've turned back to it now to lose those last 5 post ironman pounds (yep, back down to 5 pounds...whew!)
Nothing drastic.  Nothing crazy.  Just a few simple guidelines in the face of insanity.
It helps my body, mind, and to be less of a pyscho. 
Can't ask for more than that.
And now that I've done my bike time, it's time for that hot cocoa.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Don't Waste my Time

Time.  It's pretty much the basis of everything in our lives, isn't it?  Time to get up. Time to go to work.  Time for dinner.  Bedtime.
For us triathletes....swim time.  bike time.  run time.  Transition (T) time.  PR.  Net time.  Chip time.  Gun time.
Numbers numbers numbers.
I admit that I am just as time obsessed as everyone else.  It takes my 25 minutes to get to work.  85 minutes to run a tempo 10 miler.  61 minutes to bike 20 miles (depending on terrain).  14 minutes to swim half a mile.  6 minutes on my snooze button.
But what does that mean?  Time is money....a very popular expression that many resonate with. But let's take it to a new level....
Last night, the hubster and I watched a movie called "In Time" with Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried (I apologize if you've seen it, we're behind the times!  har har).  The this futuristic society, everyone stops aging when they turn 25.  At this time, a "clock" appears on your arm, giving you one year.  You can "earn" more time by working, you "lose" time by spending it on things.  So, a cab ride costs a week.  A loaf of bread, a few hours.  When you run out of "time", you die.
Interesting.  Other than the fact that you can't tell how "old" anyone is (the 85 year old and 27 year old look the same...who's the grandpa and who's the kid??) you can tell how much time they have by looking at their arm.  The poor live day to day (or hour by hour).  The richest guy?  He has 1000 years on his arm and a million years in the "bank".  Extra time units are administered via bracelet type devices, and are guarded such as we would guard money.
Of course, Justin Timberlake has a Robin Hood complex about him and spends the movie trying to equally distribute wealth.  It's a so so movie and fairly predictable, but the concept is so neat...and probably a little bit too close to home to some people.
In the beginning of the movie, JT finds himself "gifted" with some time from a friend...and was asked..."What would you do with the time?"
His friend gifts him the time with the reminder "Don't waste my time". 
Thought provoking.  How many times has someone said that to you?  Or how many times have you spent doing something that really was a waste of your time?  I suppose if we all knew when we were going to die, it would really change things.  Want to live a year longer?  Don't waste your money on a house you can't afford.  Pass on going out to eat every so often. Want to have another month?  Put in a little extra time at work to get that "bonus".
What if every time you ate a dozen cookies, you lost a week on your "time clock"?
No, it'll never be that black and white for us (I would presume so, never know!) but it really gives time a new meaning.  We tend to think we have all the time in the world...but we don't.  Invest it wisely.  That's my new goal :-)
Have you seen the movie?  Any thoughts/relevance to your world?

Monday, May 21, 2012

HIM training Week #10: Calling Uncle

Well, it was supposed to rain dice.  Not that I'm complaining-with the small exception that we put down fertilizer last night....oops.   Rain gods, please grace us with showers tonight....for our lawn and for better sleeping (anyone else toss and turn last night?)
Well, like it or not, Monday is here.  And with a crazy busy day at exhausted me....but at least it flew by.  And that means, it's time for another week review!  (Please excuse the lack of cute/bad jokes...I have nothing today :-P)
Splish sarkles!
Week 10: The Stats
Swim: 4950 meters (2 swims) 

Bike: 145 miles (4 rides...biggest bike volume this season!)
Run: 22 miles (3 runs)
Strength: 1 full body, 2 abs sessions (slack master)
1 yoga session (why do I not do this more??)
Week High: My 1 mile time trail swim...I have felt slow as a turtle all season, but something about this swim clicked for me.  Seriously, my kick drill 100's were nearly as fast as my easy 11 pace on this swim...and I knocked 3 minutes off my last 1 mile time trial.  Wow.  I have a theory on this-the theory of a new sparkly makes you faster :-P  Okay, not really.  But I suspect the new suit theory holds some water (haha) because old suits tend to get looser, creating more drag.  With me?  Ehh, at least it's an excuse to buy a new splish suit every once in awhile.
Week Low:  Saturday's run.  It as pretty....but not fun.  This I need to scale the running back a bit...I am just not having fun with it.  I'm tired, achy, and not feeling good.  Yes, I know, I have two races in the next two weeks, but I think I;ll just coast through the next few training weeks running wise and let my body rest up.  Sometimes I get smart :-P
Yeah....he talks a big game, but don't be fooled.
Speaking of which...I have decided to call uncle a bit this week.  It's not a "Scheduled rest week", but I'm dialing down the mileage in an effort to not hate life on Sunday at the B-Lo Half.  Thankfully, my plan has options when it comes to a planned 50 mile ride can easily be a 30 mile ride (age grouper level), a 40 mile ride (Elite level) or the 50 (pro level).  Age grouper I am this week...and I'm okay with that!  I think the best thing I can do is swim, stretch, fuel wisely, and rest.  Easy for a type A athlete?  Nope.  But I'm gonna tri try!
Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I really will go call Uncle.  My uncle.  Hey, it's been a week since we talked...I miss the guy!
Have a wonderful Monday-I hope your week starts out well!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Run the Rails

What a gorgeous, sunny, weekend!  And full of fun in our world :-)  I'm pooped.  Anyone think we need an extra day on the weekend to recover?  Yep, me too.
Friday night the huz and I took care of bidness around the house-outdoor yard work, cleaning the house, laundry, etc.  Saturday morning, the fun began!  After a leisurely breakfast, we drove out to Dad G's house so that I could get my long run in and the hubster could spend some time with his Dad.  I rain 10...oops...I mean 12 miles (more on that later) and met back up at the house to help the hubster sort through some of the stuff in the basement his Dad is trying to get rid of.  I finally got to meet the famed Lois for dinner, and now have an official player on my side for making jokes at my FIL's expense (rubs hands together wickedly).  Just kidding, Dad.  You know I love you.  Awesome times.
Old picture, same idea!
After dinner, the hubster and I went to one of his buddies houses in Henreitta for a BBQ (yep, we ate alot this weekend) and hung out by the bonfire with half a dozen of his childhood friends (Friday night crew, I MISS YOU.  Why must (most of) you all live so far away?
After a few hours of catch up, we headed out to Nashville's, a country bar near his buddies house, to get our dance on.  Last month, The Roost, our favorite country bar, closed (we were so sad!) and it reopened under another name.  Sweet.  I got to see some of my old co-workers (it has been way to long, guys!) and the hubster and I danced the night away.  Such fun!  Can't wait to go back.
After hitting the sheets at 1:30am (we are so old), we slept in till 10 this morning and had a quiet few hours.  Then I hopped on the bike for 40 miles and did abs and yoga (skipped my T run-foot needs rest).
Sunday afternoon-meal prep and coupon cutting and a million other little errands...and here we are, another weekend over, and where did the time go :-)  Hey....I'll rest when I'm old.  And as Lois theorized yesterday....Age is a state of mind.  I fully intend to embrace that :-)
Now, let's talk about that run!
It seemed like a good idea to have the hubster drop me off on the way to his Dad's.  I had a 10 mile out and back planned on the rail old railroad bed that stretches 15.8 miles out and back from Victor to Rush.  I was to run out 4 miles and then take the loop path back, hit up West Henrietta Rd, run uphill for a mile, then take 2 miles of Road back to the hubster's childhood home.
I need a better internal GPS.  I somehow thought I had to turn around on a road beginning with the letter P....not L.  So when my garmin beeped at 5 miles, I knew I was in trouble.  IN 86 degree weather.  With...little water left.  Damn.  I tried the next track off and ended up running a mile in single track grass trail....not what I had originally planned :-P  Somehow, I found my way back to the fork and took a shortcut, relying on my inner compass....which (mostly) worked.  As luck would have it, I stumbled upon the huz's aunt's house at mile 9, and was saved by Uncle Royer with some cold water, raisins, and a big hug (brave man!)  I then took the last mile (uphill, thankyouverymuch) and walked /jogged the remaining two to my final destination.
I should have written my directions down.
Or, you know, listened to the huz's Dad when he told me where to turn (yes Dad, you were right.  And now it's on the Internets.  Happy? :-P)
I didn't hit any kind of time goal (10.05 miles in 1:31, or 9:05 pace), plus 2 extra miles in 24 minutes walk/jog....but that wasn't the point.  The point easy, long run.
And it was a gorgeous run!  Creeks, old railroad cars, a "pee yew hill" (don't ask) and lots of beautiful scenery.  Definitely a must do for a long run in the future!
But earlier in the day.
With directions.
And more water.
At least I put on sunscreen, right? :-D

How was your weekend?  Any exciting news?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hot or Not?

Seeing as it's Friday, let's play a game and dredge up an old college memory all at the same time.  Ahh, Friday.  The promise of two days of unbridled freedom.  And, 10 years ago (really, has it been that long?) day #2 of the weekend drink fest (yes, we started on Thursday nights.  And that was tame!)  I fondly remember the weekend frat parties....leading a group of frat boys down Court Street with a jar of peanut butter, starting a DD service cab out of my roommates car on non drinking weekends (we weren't bright), double power hours, Kings,"bereal" = 2 a.m. cheerio binges post beer.  We were idiots.  But we had fun.  And there was nothing better than the drunken drama that came post partying around the dorm on a Friday or Saturday night.  Who ended up on what couch (or bed?  Scandalous!)  Who didn't come home at all?  And who ended up in their PJ's with either a Mia's pizza or a Foreman grilled cheese, hanging out with the boys down the hall, listening to SNL's "Celebrity Jeopardy" or playing "Hot or Not".
Ever play that game?  Check out the site-it's incredibly stupid but so entertaining.  Vain/Idiotic (take your pick) people upload pics of themselves online, and you rate 'em.  I have to say, not too many people got the benefit of our beer goggles after 6 shots of rum and carbs, but we amused the hell out of ourselves.
So, since it's Friday and all, I give you...the "Hot or Not" of this week!
HOT: Birthdays of the month celebrations at work...when your co-workers know you well enough to know you hate the cake, so they bring you frosting on a plate.  You freaking rock, Heidi.
NOT:  Eating cheese puffs right out of the bag, only to look down and you've eaten half the bag.  Seriously, those things are like air!
HOT:  Planning your fall vacation 3 weeks post Jamaica.  It won't be as relaxing or luxurious as our last one, but it will be something to look forward to.  Right now the hubster and I are torn between Portland, ME, Concord, NH or Rhode Island.  It has nothing to do with fall marathons in New England, I swear (fingers crossed behind back).  I'm leaning toward the Maine Marathon.... :-)
  NOT: Realizing that your next vacation is, in fact, over four months away.  I know, first world problems.  But, speaking of college-man do I miss summer "vacation"! (used loosely- I worked every summer :-P)
HOT: Good books.  Jodi Picoult's new book, Lone Wolf-good.  "Thrones" series-Good!  We just put the hammock up on the back deck, and it's already becoming a favorite evening activity to curl up with my kindle and a blanket as the sun sets.  Simple pleasure.

And they're making a movie out of this?  Wow.

NOT:  Really ridiculous "historical fiction" books.  Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer....are you freakin kidding me?  Of course, I read it.  I'm a sucker for period books.  But I feel a bit dumber for it....go ahead, try to tell me the Civil War was caused by Vampires.  Snort.  Kinda makes the hubster's theories on ghosts a little more tolerable (love you, babe!)
HOT:  Good Deals!  This week has been full of 'em.  I shop at Tops for groceries, and we finally got a gas station in Rochester, where you get discounts if you use coupons when you shop.  Bonus.  I paid $3.50 a gallon to fill up our SUV when the station around the corner is $3.89.  That's winning. 
Speaking of which, I'm playing a new game with the drugstores...using register rewards.  I've been hesitant to get into the whole multiple transaction deal, so I started small, with two transactions.  15 minutes of playing for $25 worth of product-2 Pantene shampoo/conditioners and 4 degree clear stick....for $4.93.  I like this game!!
Last awesome deal.....wanna know what $11 of Greek yogurt looks like?  
Boo.  Ya.  Mam's gonna get her protein in for the next two weeks!  That's thanks to Mama TFB's mad shopping skills....girl knows how to get a good deal, too :-)
NOT:  Bad deals.  Like...Alcatraz not getting renewed for season two.  And New Girl and Fringe are now on re-runs.  Lame.  What's a girl to do?  Well, I suppose it's time for summer bad TV....The Bachelorette (sorry huz), So You think You Can Dance, and Total Blackout (which is hosted by Jaleel White (yup, Urkel) and is freaking hilarious.  So, I guess it's not a total loss!

What's hot in your life right now?  Other than the's supposed to be in the 80's all weekend :-)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Le désordre grillé

Confession time.  Sometimes, as I sit at my desk at 4:30 on Thursday afternoon, typing up a monthly statistic report or pulling my hair out over our budget....I miss high school.  When the worst thing in the world was a pop quiz or "forgetting" your homework.  When you got to leave everyday on time.  When gym was actually a "class" and not a stolen 30 minutes during the day.  When a hot lunch cost under two bucks and you got to play Euchre with your friends for a half hour (yeah, I was a cool kid.  We had fun, though!)
On thing I don't miss (besides, ironically, math class)?  Foreign languages.  I don't know what your requirements were, but we had to take 3 years of a foreign language, with the option of 5.  (Incidentally, I had to take another class in college because I opted for the 3 years and they changed the SUNY requirements JUST after I left high school...lame).  Ahem.  Sorry.  In my high school, you could take either German, Spanish or French.  Well, everyone in the world took Spanish (which would have been smart).  German is just not a pretty language (yes, I am half German.  It doesn't mean I need to like the language).  But French?  Well, for an aspiring ballerina (ahhh, unrealized dreams!) French sounded good.  After all, I would be ahead of the game because I'd spent 10 years hearing french ballet commands, right? 
Or not.
I was pretty terrible at verbs.  Imperatifs.  Masculine and Feminine (Why is a female cat masculine = le chat?  Who knows).  The language made no sense to me.  Not that English does, but adaptation comes in to play.  One thing I did rock at?  Vocab.  Pamplemousse=grapefruit (such a freakin cool word for a fruit).  Champignon= mushroom. Ratatouille?  Well, technically it's not really a word.  But it does come from "touille", which means, 'to toss'.  And tonight, as I stared at the contents of my fridge, I saw some veggies that needed tossin'.
Instead of firing up the stove, though, I decided to use the grill to make "Le désordre grillé"....a grilled mess :-)
 Grilled Ratatouille (serves 1 or 2)
1 eggplant, sliced lengthwise
1 onion, peeled
10 stalks asparagus
2 chicken sausages (I used Zweigles)
2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. basil

Chop eggplant, asparagus and zucchini.  Wrap peeled onion in aluminum foil.  Grill veggies and sausage for 10-15 minutes, or until soft (onion may need a bit longer).  Chop veggies into bite sized pieces, toss in bowl with seasoning.  Heat tomato sauce (I nuked it, I'm not proud) and mix with veggies and protein.
Super simple.  And super yummy. Served alongside crusty French bread, this was the perfect weeknight spring meal.
C'est Délicieux!
Take that, Mme. Cierici (former french teacher :-P) 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mister Tibbs

Well, hello and welcome to Wednesday! How's your day going?  Not feeling up to it?  No worries.  I checked the calendar.  Today doesn't even exist. 
Not seeing it?  Check a bit closer.
 Haha!  I might be super simplistic,but this amused the hell out of me.  And, consequently, I've let you off the hook as well.  I mean, if the 16th doesn't exist, there's not much we can do to eff it up, right? Right.  Well, regardless, the day went pretty well.  I had a long ride on tap today (40 miles) which is rough to do mid week, so I usually break it up into two 20 mile segments-one before work and one after.  Both went pretty uneventfully-I did a nice flat section in the AM, then rode hills in the afternoon (which was tough after work, but hey, until I get my pro card (cough cough LOL) an age groupers gotta do what an age groupers gotta do.
In other news, the hubster and I hit a milestone today.  You all know we bought an we sold our old car, Mr, Tibbs....circa 2001.  Such a little go kart-check him out!
Not only was this the hubster's first new car (as a little 23 year old...awww) but the tibs, Greg and I have some pretty important history.  We went on our first date in this car (discussing "He's just not that into you" - the book.  Not kidding.  I am such a winner!)  We had our first kiss after the Roost hanging out next to this car.  (The hubster maintains he was going for the cheek-I think he lies....but that's okay!)  We drove away from our wedding reception in this car.  Went to Placid for the first time in this car.  Went to countless tri's, du's, and other races (poor buyer-I hope they can get rid of the sneaker smell :-P).  And we drove to our new home together for the first time in this car.  Such good memories.
So we went for one final trip, down memory lane and around the block.  Mister Tibbs, you will be missed.  But fondly remembered.  Now, onto the next adventure!
Do you remember your first (not hand me down) car?  I drove two hand me downs-an 89 Ford Taurus and a 95 grand am.  Both awesome cars-and then I bought my 06 cobalt (alias, Tobey!)  Such funny sentiment toward vehicles, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who has memories of past cars.
Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Call me crazy

I am such a crazy woman.  (Go ahead and nod, I know you agree).  I'm not sure whats in the water, but lately, I've been making some even crazier decisions.  Some might call them stupid.  Or adventurous.  I'll go with crazy.  Chalk it up to "hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time".....but it wasn't.  I need some blog absolution.  Or some "WTF woman".  Or "I told you not to do that!"
Take your pick. 
But preferably not the latter, and we'll still be friends.  Kay?  Kay :-).
It seemed like a good idea at the time.....
* To break in my new asics on a 12 mile run...while still battling minor foot problems.  It wasn't.  I couldn't walk Monday.
* To do speed work on the treadmill in my new trail shoes that I need to break in in the next two weeks.  Two new pairs of shoes?  In 3 days?  Rae, you're a turd.
* To sign up for a 12 mile trail race on June 2nd as my first trail run.  No, I didn't mean to say trail race.  It will be my first trail race.  Also, my first trail run.  What kind of moron am I?
I'm a crazy I get crazy flowers
(Mother's Day for a "fur mommy" flowers)
Hey, I didn't ask for em but I won't refuse flowers!
* To contact everyone in the world post vacation and say "Hey, let's get together!".  Fail.  I love people.  And being social.  But now I have 4 different commitments on Saturday. And I've booked all my weekends through June 16th. pffft.  Someone's gonna need their 5 hour energy! (Note-I love everyone I'm hanging out with, and no, we won't cancel.  Just feed me caffeine, please).
* To leave myself voice mails in the locker room at the gym to remind myself of what I needed to do that afternoon.  Hey, it came to me in the heat of super 600's and I didn't want to forget! Anyone else do that, or am I totally nuts?  (The two are not mutually exclusive, promise)
* To eat the leftover barbecue at 11pm.  I was feeling snacky and didn't eat enough on the day of my two hour I figured the protein might help.  News wasn't the most brilliant move on my part.  Poor hubster.  I have been banned from pulled chicken for a week :-P

Well, crazy is as crazy does, I guess.  Some people would call this guy crazy....
Me?  I'm ready to go out and kick some Musselman butt.  Sometimes, that's all it takes.  Call me crazy :-)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Him Week 9: Livin on a Prayer

Ohhhh, we're halfway theeerrreee...ohh oh!  Livin' on a prayer! (cue the cheese.  sorry, I'm a bit sleep deprived).
Is my Half Ironman training really half over?  And I'm running my first half marathon of the season in 13 days?  Crap!  Where has the time gone??
Well, first things first.  I'll be really glad next week when I can stop "marrying" these two training plans-I think I overdid it a bit for a "year off" and will be glad to go back to the HIM plan (basically, I've been adding a speed and tempo run every week to he Half Iron plan-it's not a huge volume increase, but my body really responds well to 2-3 runs per week, not 4.)
As far as HIM training goes....I'm sort of ambivalent.  Why? Well, let's do numbers.  Then I'll wax poetic.  You know I can, too.
The Stats

Pumped up (new) kicks!
Swim: 5500 yards (2 swims)
Bike: 125 miles ( 3 rides)
Run: 25 miles ( 3 runs)
Extra cardio: 4k rowing, 1 hour P90x
Strength: 2 full body, 2 abs sessions
Week Low:
Week High:  40 mile ride on Saturday-I hit up the Musselman course and averaged 18.8 for 40 miles (which, on the computrainer is pretty tough....there are a few hills (mile 12-17 and 32-38) that just do not exist on the real course!)  Still, I would rather train on harder "terrain" than on race day!
High #2:  P90x plyos workout.  I took the day off from running (which I thought was smart, hah!) and decided to do an at home workout in case I needed to bail because of my foot.  Enter in the 60 minute P90x plyometric DVD.  Holy hell, did I hurt so good for 2 days after that workout!  Sane people would call that bad.  I say-I need to do that DVD weekly!
Week Low:  Yesterday's run (12 miles).  It wasn't terrible, but I know for a fact now that I need to revise my Buffalo goal.  I ran from Gananda to Webster, picked a somewhat hilly route, and tried to run "race pace" (which is super hard to do in training, but I tried).  I did pretty well until about mile 9, when I lost it.  The run wasn't too bad- 1:45 for a bit more than 12 miles, or, 8:40 pace.  But not a sub 1:50 pace.  Now, granted, there were a few variables-no water (I generally don't carry it-I usually run loops for that's just a preference) and I chose yesterday to break in my new Asics 2160s.  I know, it's a stupid move.  But I like to break them in on a long run to see how they feel at their "worst".  But, to yesterday's credit, the weather was perfect.  So, with that in mind, I'm going to create a new set of goals for Buffalo.  Which is okay.  But I am somewhat bummed.
Now, it's time to wax poetic.  I'm not sure what's in the water this year, but it seems as if everyone got the memo that it's an "off" year.  Some of my friends are injured.  I think I know 6 people doing an Ironman (as opposed to several dozen last year).  The hubster hasn't even signed up for any races yet!  And I'm....just kinda bobbin' along.  Not really getting anywhere.  Running 13 in two weeks doesn't concern me.  70.3 in 9 weeks either.  I've been there, done the dance.  And I love it.  But...somethings missing this year.  I love working out, but I think I'm just not pushing myself this year.  I still have some winter "padding", but I keep eating cookies.  I'm not swimming as fast but I'm opposing speed work like a kid who thinks they can cram for a history final the night before.  And I'm so effin tired lately, it doesn't take much for me to want to skip a workout (though I'm trying not to). 
What gives?  Should I just stop trying so hard and really "play" this year?  PR's are awesome, but I'm not out to win anything, so why do I push myself so hard all the damn time?  Food for thought.  I really have no answers here, but if anyone else has thoughts, I would love to hear them.  Maybe a 4 year stretch of ramping up distance has shot my body and I need to take up yoga and 5ks.  (Note-there is nothing wrong with either one of those!  I'm just addicted to distance like a hormonal woman is to chocolate.  Mmmmm...chocolate).  Ahem.
Well, Ive got some time to figure it out.  Thanks for listening, random Internet friends.  You guys are awesome. 
Not too shabby. Comin up next week-the first brick!  Oh joy.  Let's hope I can light a fire under it!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Easy as Pie (Smiley)

Tomorrow is Mother's day.  Have you taken a few minutes to get a card or something special for your a mom woman in your life?  (Or, hey, ya know, your wife, if you want to get into the whole mother of your children or future mother of your children :-P)  Can't blame a girl for trying!
Tomorrow, I will be spending the day with mom.  We have a pretty spectacular brunch and dinner planned.  Now, in typical Mom fashion, I'm no aloud to bring anything for dinner because she stocks that house for World War III and already has all the ingredients for her favorite meal.  Which means I get to make dessert.  Twist my arm.
Hmm...what to make?  If my mom and I have any kind of food commonality, it's surely in the dessert tray.  We love our sweets.  But since it's a beautiful weekend, I didn't feel like turning on the oven.  And then...I thought about pie.  Yum, pie.
Pie and I didn't always get along.  Back in high school, we pretty much disagreed entirely.  Of course, that's when pi = 3.14.  A math prodigy, I was not.  But Mom was.   My report card?  All A's.  Except...that C in Pre calc.  Oh hell, in any math class after 9th grade.  I hated math.  With a passion.  Thus, a big bone of contention among Mom and me!
Till I took 11th grade pre-calc.  Best class ever.  But not for the math.  For the guy sitting in front of me, who passed calculator notes with me, played drug wars ( a TI-85 game, people) and broke out the Yoinks and Pi Smiley.  WTF was that?  I don't even remember.  But it was 45 minutes of comedy a day that I still remember 14 years later.  Thanks for making class bearable, Jon.  My mom didn't thank you then. But you made me like pi(e) again.  Which will directly benefit her tomorrow.....
Easy as Pi(e) Smiley!
You'll Need
1 box sf strawberry jello
1/2 cup boiling water
One 6oz ff yogurt (strawberry or Strawberry Banana)
1 tub cool whip
1 graham cracker crust
optional:  fun sprinkles!

This is truly a pie for idiots recipe.  Empty the jello powder into a mixing bowl.  Boil the water, whisk into jello powder until dissolved.  Fold in yogurt.  Fold in cool whip.  Stir until completely mixed, and swirl into graham cracker crust.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Sprinklefy.

A pretty pink pie, just for mom!  And me.  And the hubster.  She'll share.  I know she will.  If not, I'm all over it. I did super will in the fractions section of Course I math, thankyouverymuch :-)

What are you doing for Mother's Day?  Any special plans?  I'm running over to Webster bright and early (literally, I have a 12 miler on tap), then spending the day with Mom.  The hubster is coming out later and we're gonna grill outside-it's supposed to be a gorgeous day!  Enjoy and remember to thank your mom for being awesome enough to put up with you :-) 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fun Links Friday

Friday dance time!  It's sunny!  It's the end of the work week!  It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend!  Yay! Too many exclamation points, but hey,  it truly is a glass half full type of day.  I finally sent off my budget amendment (after 2 hours of trying to find the $10 I was off by in my $220,500 pulling out!!) and left work on a high note.  Got in a 2 mile swim and some yoga, and tonight is Fringe Season finale-can't ask for more than that on a Friday, right?  (Don't answer that.  I know normal people go out for beers after work on Friday, but when did I claim to be normal?)
Of course, if you're out tying one off, the least I can do is provide some random entertainment for you at 1am when you get home and are pawing through a box of cheerios, playing on the Internets.  So, without any more blabbing, I'll just cut to the chase...time for some Friday Link Love!  Here's what's been amusing and entertaining me....getting me through this numbers filled week!

1.  Slowtwitch swim debate:  If you're a triathlete, you know about this site.  I tend to visit Beginner Triathlete much more frequently, but hit up slowtwitch for amusement every once in awhile.  IMO, it's full of people who think they're all that (at least 90%) and look down on us middle of packers.  Personally, I think most of them are lying.  The latest "I'm better than you are" thread?  Why people who can't swim less than 2:00/100 meters should never do an Ironman.  News flash.  Unless I'm swimming less than a mile, I average right out at 2:00/100 meter.  But I can swim at least 6000 meters at that pace.  And I've done a 12:50 Ironman.  Stuff it.
2.  What's for Dinner? - Has totally gotten me through my time crunched week.  Basically, you can type in any amount of ingredients that you have in your fridge/pantry and come up with a delicious meal, no shopping needed.  Have eggs, corn, onions and cream cheese?  Mini Egg frittatas!  Yum.  Of course, they had no suggestions for a loaf of bread, jelly and a green pepper, so I guess I'll have to get my behind to Tops tonight :-P
3.  Pixel of Ink- Nothing on TV?  Read all your Kindle books but don't get paid till next week?  No worries!  Check out this awesome sight that lists 5-10 free kindle downloads per day-everything from kids books to murder mysteries, biographies, romance, etc....I even found some cookbooks!  You can also subscribe and get their daily emails which list a quick plot summary of each book.  3 minutes later, you've got a free book.  Nothin' to sneeze at there!
4. The Simple Dollar (Debt) - Yeah, I know, I dealt with numbers way too much this week, but this blog is really one of my favorites.  They list out a slew of great money tips, but this one really caught my attention.  Taking out a loan?  Don't think of it in terms of the fact that you took out a $150,000 mortgage.  You don't owe $150,000.  You need to look at what the loan is going to cost you over the next 20 years in order to really assess your debt ratio.  Scary truth?  Most $150,000 homes really cost close to $250,000 before you pay them off.  It's enough to really make you take a look at those money priorities and wonder-do I really need that $4 a day latte?  Nope. 
5.  1000 Awesome things - An oldie but goodie.  Having a stressful day?  Check out this blog, which lists one awesome thing a day to be grateful for.  Everything from brocollini to road signs-it's amazing what can make you smile in every day life if you take the time to notice it.

What are you loving this week?  Any fun link love to share?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Why I Tri

Hey hey friends! How bout an oldie but goody! I save drafts whenever I do a guest post, and I came across this one while doin' a little clean up.  It's been a mess of a day on my end, so this helps out my posting sanity as well.  Read on..... :-)

Hello, blogworld! My name is Rae and my little corner of the blog world is Tri’ing for Balance, where I talk about (shockingly) triathlon training, healthy/unhealthy eating, staying fit, and balancing it all in the real world without going crazy! (Most of the time).
I have asked to share with you “Why I Tri”, and of course, I am happy to oblige! I’ve been a triathlete for six years now, and have competed in the four main distances (Sprint, Olympic, Half Ironman and Ironman) but back in 2005….if you would have asked me to run a mile, I would have laughed at you. Let me ‘splain a bit more.

Rewind to July 2005. My then boyfriend (now husband) of about a month starts talking about this weird race called “Ironman”. He says it sounds fun…. It’s 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking and26.2 miles of running, to boot! I just laughed…kickboxing class, sure, all that swimming, biking AND running a marathon ….um, no. “Well, there’s a sprint race coming up next month”, he said…”I’m gonna do it”. And I’m thinking…ok, .5 mile swim, 12 mile bike, 5k run….ehh, I haven’t run since high school, rode a bike since I could drive but I do know how to dog paddle….so I said…Ok! I’m not really a sit and watch kinda girl, so let’s do this thing! Fast forward to our first ride together, where I fell over at a stop sign onto him (yeah, I wasn’t wearing clip in shoes). Oiy...what a beginning! Well, because I’m stubborn, after a month of training, I crossed the finish line of my first tri, hand in hand with my man ( I knew he was a keeper). I dog paddled the swim. I rode the bike on a $50 Target bike. And I ran the 5k in Walmart sneakers. Yup, I was hard core.
But then I was hooked. Through the next four years, I slowly built up my race distances and gear quality (Yes, this is an expensive sport, but if you shop for deals and pick up pieces slowly, it’s not that bad). The boyfriend became my husband, I did my first marathon, my first half ironman, and then in 2010….my first Ironman.
Lake Placid. Easily the (second) best day of my life. (If I didn’t count my wedding day first, I think I would be a single lady again :-D) I finished my first Ironman in 13:xx hours, not fast by any means (people win this race in 8 hours, cut off is 17 hours), but perfectly respectable and I HAD SUCH A GOOD TIME. 13 hours of putting myself through 140.6 miles? WHY WOULD SOMEONE DO SUCH A THING?

Well I’ll tell you… “Why I Tri”

1. Because it’s fun. Tell me quick what you did when you were a kid….you played tag (running)? You rode bikes till dinner? You did cannonballs in the pool? Yup, you were a triathlete. Anytime I get to act like a 6 year old again works for me.
2. Because it’s interesting. I love running and marathon training. But it’s all running (yeah, I’m a smarts one like that). With tri’s, cross training is built right in. It doesn’t get boring. And the chance of injury is much lower because you are working different muscle groups.
3. Because, as a whole, triathletes are fun (though slightly crazy) people. Most of the people I have met through this sport are amazing, funny, humble people. They KNOW they are crazy for calling a 100 mile bike ride fun, but hey, you’re there too, so let’s tell jokes and get each other to the finish line for the beer, mmm k?
4. It can be social…but also reflective. Races are super fun because you can meet people and see your friends….but if you like longer distance tri’s (like I do), you can have time to yourself to train as well. 3 hour runs. 6 hour bike rides. You can get a lot of thinking done that way…and sort out your frustrations with the world (I swear I cured the common cold during a long run last January, but forgot it before I got home to write it down...kidding!) It’s also worth noting that a Sprint or Olympic race can be done on 4-6 of training per week, so you don’t need to dedicate your life to the sport unless you want to!
5. It’s pretty easy to set PR’s (personal records)…at least at first! 4 different commonly known distances (Sprint, Olympic, Half Ironman, Ironman) all with 3 different legs = 16 PR possibilities! (each leg plus overall race time). Since most of us strive for improvement once we’ve raced, it’s awesome to have more than an “all or nothing” approach! And the longer you go, the more PDR’s (Personal distance records) you can set, as well as achieving significant race PR’s (I took over an hour off my first IM time when I did my second….boy did I feel hardcore!!)
6. Simply put, I love the feeling. Of the adrenaline at the start…hearing the gun go off. Of swimming with the fishes. Of flying on the bike, wind in my face, sunshine streaming down my back and reminding me how happy I am to be alive. Of running with my friends and co-racers, a kind word of encouragement, as we all work toward a common goal…the finish. Of crossing that line, out of breath, endorphins kicking in, realizing that I DID IT, and wondering when I can race again! That makes the training worth it for me!
7. Because I can. Saved the best one for last. I’m not fast. As a matter of fact, until this past year I had a hard time even calling myself an athlete (I’m working on it). But after over 40 tri’s, 2 marathons, 6 half marathons and dozens of smaller road races, I realized that an “athlete” isn’t necessarily a size 2 with 5% body fat. It’s someone who toes the line after putting hours of training in to do something they (hopefully) love. My body might not be perfect, but my legs, lungs, heart and other parts all work together to get me to the finish line, usually smiling!, at the end of the race. And if my body can, and my mind can, than I certainly want to! And I love every minute of it.

I know it sounds trite, but believe me, if I can be a triathlete, anyone can. I wasn’t an athlete when I toed the line at my first tri in 2005. But I was when I finished. I’ve had my fair share of stumbling blocks, of trials and triumphs, and of races “I wish I would have…” (You get the point). But with the help my husband, who introduced me to the sport, the friends that I have made, who have helped me figure a few things out along the way, and some hardcore stubbornness and dedication, I can say that this sport really has changed my life for the better. Will I ever be a pro? I seriously doubt it. But I’m gonna have fun “tri’ing” my best and racing my heart out, and that’s all that matters!
New to triathlon? Thinking of entering a race or going for Iron distance? I might not be an expert, but I am always open to questions and will share with you what I can! Feel free to email me at Thanks for reading!