Thursday, July 12, 2018

Growing Up- Cause that's What People Do! (Rob is 5!!!)

Well, one thing is pretty consistent.  I obviously stink at Race reports (hello Keuka and Beer Mile), keeping any sort of reflective eye on Ironman training (I swear, I fly from 6 hour ride to 3 hour run to adulting (yikes) to boss lady with no in between), but one thing, thank goodness, stays consistent. 

Mommin'.  Last week, my little buddy turned 5.  Oh, be still my heart.  How is this even possible?  Of course, like a big ole softie, I look back at the past 5 years with tears in my eyes....when Rob was Born...One...Two...Three...Four....OMG.  How the years fly by (I sound about 80 years old).  I looked at Rob the other day and said "Buddy, STOP GROWING!"  And he goes, "Mom!  I can't.  We all grow,  That's what people do."  Well played, buddy, well played.

Ahem. I guess before I cry even more into my hankie, let's talk about this big boy.

 Size: 40 pounds.  Right smack where you should be.  You are 44" high, which is just perfectly right for a kiddo your age.  Way to go Rob man!!  Keep eating all that broccoli (lil trees) and of course, turtle power PIZZA dude!

Likes: Cars cars cars.  I swear I can just put this on repeat!   Not only do you love your cars, but you are getting pretty good at identifying them!  You can point to a car and say, hey mom look, that's a Nissan Hyundai!  Or, Hey! Its a Chevy Equinox, just like ours!  Much better than mom.  You love playing Forza and Project Cars, and got a pretty cool surprise for your bday when you got not one, but two! Power Wheels ride ons!  You love them.  You also love running - you see Mommy and Daddy do it all the time and you have totally caught the bug!  You run on the treadmill (yes, you actually beg to do this!), outside, on the track, everywhere!  You also are becoming a big fishie and looove your bike.  You totally have designs to "do a triathlon next year - our local kids tri has a six year old division, and you are SO there.  I can't wait to see this, little buddy - you melt Mommy's heart!!
Other current faves - Connor is your boy, and you plan to marry Jocelyn, Olivia or Emma - you can't decide (OMG it starts).  You still love trap music, but also a little TLC, Rednex, or Cobra Starship ( A plus parenting, folks).  You can quote Jason Dirullo on what to do with that big fat butt like no one else, and your dancing skills make Usher look like an amateur.  Rock on, dude.

Dislikes: Lack of play dates, beans (thanks Gramma), and bedtime.  Or, well, in general being told no.  (Get used to it, kid).  You have a love hate relationship with Biz (totes normal).  You also are pretty much set in your ways - omg - I thought I was bad.  So, like Mr, Incredible tells Elastigirl, we are working on being flexible.  Except with beans.  Thankfully, you love broccoli.  Hey, I can be flexible, too.

Sleep: Looks like the FOMO subsided, and aside from scary dreams, you rock out on this one.  It still takes a village to get you into bed, but once you are there (In your BIG bed, I may add), you snuggle up with your stuffed turtle, Mackey Doos, and are out.  Now if you could just train your sister on that one....

Eating: Pizza, brocolli, frosting, milkshakes, and fruit.  Oh, and ham, rice and beans, and chocolate milk.  Really, who can complain?  You have your definite faves, but you pretty chill.

Milestones/Firsts: Pre K.  Learning to read.  Counting to 100.  Still rocking out the ridiculously long words Iike paradox, apparently, sustained, and theoretically (You listen too well when you want to!).  Riding a bike with some assistance and no training wheels.  Going underwater.  Visiting the ocean!Swimming backstroke.  Rollerskating.  Oh, my big boy.  

Best Moment: This gets harder and harder each year, bud.  There are so many cool things you are doing - school, soccer, swim lessons, play dates, new vacation spots, new experiences, new friends, new feelings....watching you go through it all, I just step back in wonder.  But when it comes down to is, the best moments for me are the ones that are seemingly mundane....rubbing your back as you drift off to sleep....hearing what you saw as the best part of your day (we do this every night)....the sound of laughter as you and biz fling the poop toy at the ceiling....'Ber hugs....big smooches.....dancing to 1000 years (our mom/rob song!)....splashing with you in the pool....or just snuggling on the couch as we watch Boss Baby for the zillionth time.  I wish I could just stop time at moments like these and inhale your sweet little boy scent and make it last forever.  But I can't.  So I wipe away the tear in my eye as I realize that these moments are going faster and faster.....take a deep breath....and enjoy every precious moment for the miracle that it is.  

Looking Forward To: Everything.  Seabreeze, fall vacations, kindergarten, sleepovers, camping, soccer games, and endless play dates on the circle with all our best buds.  These are the days, bud.  These are the days.

I love you!!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Just Ducky - MTD 2018 Race Report

Ahhh, those friggin ducks.  Will they ever mind themselves?  Probably not.  Yet, like an idiot, I went back for the 3rd time this past weekend to whip those mother duckers into shape!

For those not privy to my insanity, Mind the Ducks is a 12 hour race which is a one mile loop you run over and over and over again, as many times as you can in 12 hours.  I popped my duck cherry in 2014 with 53 miles, did 56 in 2016, and came back in 2018 for more of the same.

A few things about this race stood out for me - 1, my goal.  Every year I have tried to hit 62 (100k) and came up short.  This year that wasn't the goal - with Ironman Lake Placid 10 weeks out, I knew systematically destroying myself out there for a lofty goal would be dumb - I decided to focus my goal on simply remaining upright for 12 hours, not killing myself, practicing tired nutrition on my feet, with the ability to still train a few days later.  Whew.  And #2 - here goes freaky - this would be the first year I didn't do ducks with a baby - which means no worries about packing my breast pump or a mid race feed (aren't you so happy you subscribe to this blog??).

With #1 in mind, I trained quite a bit differently for this race.  Which, in a nutshell, means, I didn't.  I started Ironman training in mid February, and added one extra run in per week back to back with my long run for IM training.  Which means my long run was 18 miles going in, and my back to back long runs were 12-12.  Perspective - each prior year I did a 31 miler and a back to back 15-15.  With that in mind, I decided a PR was not the goal early on - and was sort of clueless about an actual goal, so like any athlete, I wung out some numbers for the hell of it to make mid race math fun, and decided that 31-40-50 were my C, B and A goals.  Go.

Also, as any good athlete does, I tested a new piece of equipment on a 12 hour race - my suunto watch proved to be only a source of frustration, so like the fabulous husband he is, Greg surprised me with an early Mother's Day anniversary birthday Christmas gift on Thursday - a brand new Garmin 935.  SWEET.  I tested it for 2 miles, proclaimed it good, charged it up, and promptly left the house without it race morning.  OMG.  Way to go, Rae. 

I packed up my tote o fun race morning (extra shoes, outfit, and whatever the hell munchies looked good in the cupboard) and got to the park about 6 (after run back home for said Garmin), set up tent with my new best bud Kelly and my existing trail bud Gretchen, grabbed my bib, pre race obligatory selfie, shot the breeze with some running buds, and amid low fanfare, we were off!

Hours 1-2 I kept it pretty steady at a 10 minute mile, hydrating and eating aid station offerings every mile or two.  I connected with a new friend Garrett about 3 miles in, and he was a strong running partner I knew I could stay with for a few hours.  My rough race plan was decided - run for 26 miles, or until I felt tired, then run walk, then start my power walk 6 hours in.  I felt pretty good with this strategy - I knew i couldn't blow myself up, not only for race day, but also that I didn't have the bandwidth for a long recovery post race, as my peak Ironman training was slated to start May 21. 

Races like MTD are the best, because you can chat with almost anyone - say hey to the eventual winners (who both broke course records), take a silly selfie with your pal Alli who showed up at 9 and ran a few laps with me (where, apparently I agreed to run across Tennessee in a 500k race next year - can I plead insanity at mile 15??) or slap a high five with two of the spectators who I ran a beer mile with a few weeks ago (yeah, you'll get a race report on that one.  You know I strava'd that mess).

I hit my first marathon about 4:30 in, and was pleasantly surprised with a stop in by Greg with fresh shoes, and another hey about mile 30 from John, a fellow runner buddy (who just happens to be married to my sitter and runs 5ks in full fire gear for fun.  #Imthenormalone.  He ran walked with me for about 5 miles until at mile 35 I declared myself run out and power walk ready.  I grabbed some pizza, checked the clock - 7 hours in - and settled off to a nice 15-16 minute mile power walk.  I made a few new friends - Krista,who was gunning for 41 miles for her 41th year (and eventually did 52, because she is a rockstar!) and Mary, who is a freaking goddess and does these races as a retiree.  All the props (yeah, she also bagged 50 miles as a veteran - I want to be her when I grow up!).  8 hours and 40 miles in, I did a quick assessment - I had hit my B goal, was it time to stop?  Feet hurt.  Mild hip niggle.  Stomach good.  Fueling spot on. 

Time to keep going!  I did a few more laps with Krista, did a few on my own, and in general made friends with pretty much anyone that was willing to chat with me.  Both Greg and Uncle Alan stopped by with diet cokes and fries (apparently, I am predictable) which were manna from heaven.  Everyone commented on how good I looked out there, which I didn't quite buy, but the quazy quacker team from Syracuse was offering free photo ops, so 11 hours in I took advantage of my 50 mile pic....

In hindsight, I probably do look too happy and relaxed for having run 50 miles.  LOL.  I debated again stopping, but, ya know, they offered a water bottle for a double marathon, and I'm a sucker for free crap, so there ya go.

Crossed my "finish line" in 11:31 with 52.6 miles under my belt, and aside from my barking dogs, I felt pretty great! 

Oh yeah...and then I stopped.  Once the adrenaline backed off, I realized how much it hurt to walk.  I collected my parting gifts, slowly hobbled to my tent, put on my flip flops (OMG bending over!) and hung out for a bit to watch some epic 11:59 finishes.  My mom, the angel that she is, brought me a big honkin Bill Grays cheeseburger...and...drum coke and fries, which were damn delicious. 
Hobbled to my car, drove home, and amid the toddler fanfare (I did not have the energy for this, but mommin is mommin!), stared at the Mt. Everest that used to be my stairs....took an epic, hot, beautiful shower, put on all the clothes (the post race shock is real) and scarfed down that fabulous burger and fries.

My best finish?  Nope.  Actually my "slowest", but just relatively.  I cleaned up 2nd overall female under 40  (the winner did 63 miles, what a beast!) and averaged just over 13:00 mile for 52 miles.  I wish I could show you the cool data but...I hit the wrong button on my garmin and deleted the race (WTF).  I do know I did 98,000 steps for the day and was a total slacker and didn't get in those extra 2,000....maybe next year.  LOL.

Here's the best part though.  One day out - Sunday morning....Rob brought me coffee in bed, because this is why you have kids on Mother's Day....and after I ate some ibuprofin and put on calf sleeves....I walked around pretty normally!  Did brunch for 15 (no one said I was smart), a nice long walk, and took the day off from training.  Monday I rode 20 miles easy.  And Tuesday...I ran 6 miles.  Here I am, one week out - no blisters, no black toenails, and I just got back from a 10 mile run.  I've never felt this good after an ultra, which means for once in my life, I listened to my body - fed it well, hydrated it well, and stopped running before I probably even needed to.  Which was the race goal, after all. 

9 weeks to Lake Placid, baby.  BRING. IT. ON!!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Confessions of a Ironman Mommy - then vs now

So, the joke goes something like this...

"How do you know someone is training for an Ironman?"
"Don't worry, they'll tell you.  Every. Single. Day"

Or something like that.  There's a lot of self depreciating jokes about us crazy ultra guys - and we wear every black toenail, every mile, every race, every chafe, like a frickin badge.  Right?

So, what am I training for?


Aside from the fact that I clearly lost my blogger badge years ago, and I won't even get into it, cause its so old....I could post the same thing on my facebook wall and maybe some people would get it because I have it as a cover photo.

Workouts?  Radio silence.  Weekly recaps?  Yeah, right.  Here's the rub - I'm running a 12 hour ultra in 3 weeks (am ridiculously unprepared) and doing an Ironman in 13 (not so unprepared), and barely anyone really knows about it.  To me, I remember my training days for IMLP and IMMD (formerly Chessyman) back in 2010 and 2011 and it seems so ridiculously different.  So what changed?

These guys.  
It's all about the mommin.  So, I give you and oldie but goody from when I was preggo....time for....

Confessions of an Ironman Mommy!!!

Then (2010):  Kickoff Day for Training was highly celebrated.  Planned races perfectly in key spots.  Days off Arranged months in advance.  All the new gear bought.

Now:  I think I started training in March.  I sort of took a free plan and bastardized it into 4 week blocks that are hilariously executed.  I tried strava, found it showy, and resorted to my notebook to log workouts.  Whats a power meter?  What data?  Don't tell me.  I don't wanna know.  I did buy new sneakers, so that's something.

Then:  A week was perfectly thought out.  Monday, off.  Tuesday, swim/run.  Weds - mid bike (must take PTO for 2 hours or more).  Thursday, run.  Friday - weights.  Saturday, increasing long ride followed by T run.  Sunday - long run.  Any workout longer than 90 minutes required massive thought, perfect start time, perfect conditions, and ample recovery.

Now:  I've been known to have work meetings via uber conference at mile 55 of an 80 mile ride.  Nutrition is a squeezy pouch of applesauce and probably my sons favorite gummy snacks.  It's perfectly acceptable to stack 3 long workouts back to back to back and perhaps grab a sammich post run on my way to an outside work meeting.  I grocery shop in my compression socks and my son asks innocently as we stroll through check out "Mommy, does your girl wee parts hurt after that 4 hour ride?"  True. Story.

Then:  Weekly updates with kitschy phrases on my blog.

Now:  Wait, what are you training for?

Then:  Monthly massages for recovery.

Now:  Foam rolling on my trigger point tube while both kids aim for the inner part to drive cars through.

Then:  My own training plan, as no couple is ridiculous enough to try to do this at the same time.

Now:  careful google calendering for claimage of the Tacx (bike trainer), kid free workouts (highly coveted), and couple time (it does count of he's on the trainer and I am on the treadmill, right?)

Then:  Long, blissful, time outs for thinking deep thoughts during runs and rides.

Now:  Running on the treadmill while Rob plays Xbox, Biz jumps on the trampoline, and I throw them snacks every few miles or so.  I have been known to hydrate off of a sippy cup, and my aim is getting much better at throwing gummies to the kids  #mommultitasking

Then:  a 3 hour run 3 hours.

Now:  1 hour at 7am,  30 minutes at noon, 1 hour at 5:30pm and a half hour at 9pm.  Hey, I'll be ready for mile 139.

Then:  I AM TRAINING FOR AN IRONMAN.  MY IRONMAN IS EXACTLY 3 months, 1 day, 19 hours and 3 minutes until go time.

Now:  I think I have something going on the weekend of July 22.  Not too sure.  I'll get back to you.

In conclusion....I believe a few things here....

1.  Doing an Ironman with two toddlers is basically like having a second kid.  No one cares and half the time you even forget it's happening until you get a kickstart reminder.

2.  Training as a couple is ridiculous.  With two kids borders on insane.  But Greg and I don't do easy, so I guess this is par for the course, right?  har har.

3.  Expect the unexpected is my mantra and I have learned to train on no sleep, no fuel, less than ideal conditions, and even while forgetting my bike shorts (that was a long 3 hour ride).  Needless to say, I should be set on that for race day.

4.  I'm probably in the best shape of my life because GET IT DONE is just a mantra.

And at the end of it, even though I'm not sure I would recommend this crazy ride to anyone, it somehow is working.  I had doubts for awhile there because it felt like something was missing, but then I realized that, unlike before, Ironman does not define me.  I'm loving the tests, the limits (I will love it even more if this winter shit ever ends) but at the end of the day, it's a piece of my life that makes up a whole - it's a great thing to share with Greg and something we are already seeing our kids are picking up on - when Rob levelled up at swimming last month, he climbed out of the pool and goes "Mommy, I'm ready to do my Ironman!".  That makes it worth it.  How my son and daughter see me - their mom - a super woman, an Iron woman.

Race day goals....well, we aren't there yet.  But I can say I am fully loving the process, as insane as it is, and am grateful for it.  As it gets closer to race day, there's time for that.  But for now, it's time to enjoy the wild and crazy ride!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

What's Your Heart Race?

So, it's official.  I am done with base training and after a recovery week, start the "official" 20 week Ironman plan.  I know, what the hell have I been doing so far?  Adaptation, my friends.  Greg and I have been slowly ramping up our distance and time, throwing in a few speed bursts, but getting to a spot where we can swim 2 miles comfortably, ride 60-70, and run 12-15.

Now begins the work.  The T runs.  The repeats.  The 5-6 hour rides.  The nutrition.  The recovery.  All of it.  And like most of life, when it's time to buckle down and get it DONE, something screws up.

In this case it was twofold.  First, it was me.  Oddly enough, not even my physical body - other than a few sore moments, my body has been doing really well with training.  Almost too well, dare I say?  (No, I didn't say that.  Forget it).  Here's where it gets weird though - this time, it was my mind.  For the last month, I have been really debating deferring my Ironman until 2019.  I just have not been into it.  Almost ever workout goes well, and I hit my marks....but that's it.  I no longer felt a rush after a hard run.  A sense of peace after a swim or a recovery run.  And some days...when the alarm went off, I just did not WANT to do it.  I couldn't get excited.  And that, to me, is a huge warning sign.  I mean, if you're gonna drop $700 on a race and 10-20 hours of your life for 6 months, you better damn well mean it.

So I soul searched.  What was my deal?  Quite honestly, I felt that old "You can't have it all" feeling creeping up on me that I talked about last fall when I turned down my promotion.  Life boils down to seven things for me - mom, wife, daughter, family member, friend, athlete, and self.  Add in the
My world
"concrete" roles of employee, money manager, and house master, and you get ten.  YOU CANNOT DO ALL TEN WELL.  You just can't.  Lately, I feel like the most constant ones were slipping - mom, wife, and self.  I felt like I was pinging from one to another and never got a chance to just "be" with my kids, devote myself fully to my husband, or sit down and just be with myself.  So I started to look for a let go.  Was it Ironman?  Seems really selfish to do all this training (oh wait, make that 10-20 hours a week double, because Greg and I are BOTH doing it) right now, when I have two little kids that WANT to be with me, and a marriage that only extends itself to so many shitty moods brought on by both Greg and I "doing it all".

What's the answer?  I don't know.  Right now it's communication and one week at a time.  I know there was a good reason to sign up this year, but hell, there's always a good reason, right? One week at a time.  One day at a time.  And probably a good dose of giving up any sense of perfection for anything.

Just to mess with my sense of order even more, a few days ago, my garmin died.  My activity counter.  My data storage.  And for every run or swim, my mind - allowing me to let go and have it do the "counting" for me - the route planning, the lap counting, and all the "numbers" that go into this training.  And my calorie keeper to make sure I eat enough to go with it!  So, after throwing a mini fit, I put on my old timex - the $30 watch that I did my first Ironman, ultra, and wore to the hospital when Biz was born.  With no data.  Or calorie counters.  Or HR monitors.  Which, ironically, Rob, when he plays with my watch, calls my "heart race".  Mommy, what's your heart race?  53, buddy.  Oh...when will it be zero?  I hope not for awhile buddy!
If you didn't record it, did it happen?  YES!
Rob grabbed my old timex yesterday and asked me about my heart race, so I walked him through this history of the watch - the little gouge from when I crashed my bike on it.  The Black streak at the top from my first ultra where god knows what got on it and won't go away.  And the chew marks on the strap from when Biz used to grab at it when she was teething.  I told him that was my "heart race"- the little pieces of this low tech machine that really fed into the life of why mommy does what she does.  Then I went for a run.  An 8 mile run which told me a few things....that I have no clue what my RPE is any more in terms of data.  That I really suck at executing a tempo run without a pinging mile time.  But that even if you don't record it, It happened.  At least the important parts.  The sunshine through the trees.  The wind in my face.  The mud splatter on my left leg.  And the feeling that even when we question if it's worth is.  And in that moment, post workout, I realized that I might just in fact be teaching my son some life lessons with this "selfish goal" of mine.  Or maybe that was just good enough for me today.  Either way, I'll take it.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Adapt This

Welcome to the jungle!

No, not really.  Seriously, is this the longest f'ing winter ever, or what?  I feel like I have a major case of the SAD's lately (that's seasonal affective disorder in case you didn't know) but Greg assures me that basically everyone decided winter 2018 was the season to veg on the couch with Doritos and have no ambition whatsoever.  Which is cool if you...didn't drop $700 on an Ironman.  Yikes.  HTFU, Rae.

All jokes aside (what jokes, I really just want to wear my jammies and eat goldfishies, as Biz calls em), training is going relatively well.  I've bailed on about half my swims (who swims at 5am when you have to get to the pool at 5am??) but my pace and effort are...surprisingly decent (for me).

Run is going well, until the treadmill broke (busted board..thank god we got the warranty but still).  Bike was going well until...the computrainer broke (I have no clue here).  PEOPLE.  As luck would have it, my pal Mary asked a "Question of the Day" on facebook a few days ago (right before this campaign of breaking technology happened) define an ultra.  In one word.

One word.  Well.  Wow.  As luck would have it, I was out the door for a run that day (see above regarding treadmill) the biting cold.  This was day two of my runneth outside in shitty weather.  I was supposed to bike (see above).  After I threw a well deserved thirty second tantrum at the computrainer, I went for my run tights to shift my Thursday run to Wednesday. tights were in the washer.  Being washed, as we spoke.  With my fleece headband.  Greg...."borrowed" my gloves.  So there was that.

Come. On.  I grabbed capris.  And compression socks.  Same thing.  Cut a hole for my ponytail in an old skull hat.  And dubiously looked at Robs gloves, which featured characters from "Inside Out".  Which...oddly fit, though they might not make a
Run Fashion.
fashion statement.  Five minutes after bitching at my bike, I was out the door.  I spent the first mile letting off steam and warming up (talk about a catch 22)...and then my MP3 player died.


Know what happened next?  I ran the best hill workout I have in 6 years.  And it occurred to me.  All of the words that Mary had collected made sense.  What defines an ultra?  Long.  Hard. (shut it, you).  Crazy.  Tenacity.

All good.  But you know what defines it for me?  Adaptability.  Yep.  You got it.  In my opinion, its what makes race day.  Ultras (in this case Ironman) is such a long day.  Its not a question of if something will go wrong, its when.  Goggles kicked off in the swim, stung by a jellyfish, bike crash, throwing up on the run course....all could happen (and have to me in in my Ironmans).  You have to learn how to adapt to your present situation and turn it into something to your benefit, whether its swapping a workout based on how you feel, the tools at your disposal, or life (includes kids, job, etc.).  You have to learn how to adapt your race fuel and your diet.  You have to deal with equipment malfunction.

And then you turn it around to make it your benefit.  In this case, an awesome run workout.  With everything on the planet going wrong.

And there's your lesson for the day.

Of course....on Thursday....the computrainer broke again.  And our tacx software wouldn't update.  So I did what any wife would do.  I zwifted as Greg.  And got one hell of a hill workout as I rode on a setting that pretended I weighed 90 pounds more than I do.  O.M.G.

Of course, I am happy to report that this morning for my swim - the pool had water, my swimsuit had no holes, and my goggles had no leaks.  And really, that's all anyone can ask for, right?

Also, regarding that one word, if you want word #2 to define an Ultra....humor is definitely it.  :-D

Saturday, January 13, 2018

I Got You Babe

Well, why not invite Sonny and Cher along for the ride?  Am I showing my age?  Probably.  Of course, in a week that included mucis references to Hanson, Elvis, and Rick Astley (am I the only one that had never heard of Rick Rolling?  Seriously?) I have decided that all bets are off.

Except with 2018.  Still on.  Game on.  Do it.

As I mentioned before, I have some big plans for 2018.  As Biz would say "Da Big A One".  Yeah.  It's the year, baby.  I'm serious about this.  Time to go for my dreams.  I even got myself a planner for the first time since 2012:
Clearly, I'm serious about this, can you tell?  HAH.  Well, the year is shaping up just fine on this side of the world - Ironman base training in full effect, and coming along swimmingly (well, TBH, not so much there - it's hard to get into a pool in January!).  Long bikes are getting longer, long runs are getting longer, and it feels GREAT.  I never expected to get back into the Ironman game this year, but it just feels right.  Which is awesome.

One of my other 2018 goals involves more of what matters.  In 2017, I focused way the hell too much on little things that honestly, had no real end consequence.  It makes sense, looking back - I was so overwhelmed with so many areas of my life, that it seemed like taking some kind of control over something, even if it was a fifty cent coupon or an hour coverage at work, mattered.

It didn't.

As a result of that, I missed out on some pretty big things, and also worked myself into a needless tizzy over things and people that weren't worth my time.  As I read through one of my parenting magazines (which are excellent bubble bath fodder, but not usually worthwhile beyond that) I actually found an article more worthwhile than how to treat a vomit stain on your favorite sweater (the answer there is Dawn dish soap, in case you actually needed to know that).  It was called the "I Got You" plan.  The article basically outlined a 12 month set - in the areas of finance, career, health and wellness, family, social/charity, and relationships (we added that last one.  Why they didn't include it, I'll never know).  The idea is to sit down with your significant other and create a road map - not a "to do" list, but a frank discussion about your dreams in these five areas, what you want to accomplish, and how you can support each other.

The article suggested getting out of the house to do this - to go to a coffee shop, library, or somewhere where you won't get distracted.  So, last weekend, we got a sitter and headed out to a family diner to sit down and talk dreams.

Enjoying the little moments
It was awesome.  Greg and I ended up working through most of of the areas - us, finance, career, family and health and wellness.  We shared our hopes as a couple and how we hope to better connect in 2018.  We talked about our family time and how we felt like we had been running off of a "to do" list for much of 2017, and how to step back and really enjoy our kids while they are still little.  We both talked about our career goals - Greg's were pretty obvious, mine were actually not.  We talked about a project that I have been batting around for years and now plan to bring to fruition later this year (more on that as it progresses!) .  We walked through our goals for Ironman and how we planned to train for it without breaking any of the other areas of life - we are both super amped about it but realistic with how much time we have to train.

Then we ordered two burgers that sounded delicious and split them like two teenagers on a date.  I refrained from stealing fries off of Greg's plate, and I promise we ordered two beverages with our own straws and no one threw up watching us.

For most of the goals, we outlined a general plan and a few specific action steps to take.  Though this part can sound boring, it really helps with SMART goal planning and we were both super amped with what we want to accomplish, as well as feeling much closer to each other as a result of talking about our dreams and hopes for this year and beyond.  We decided to bring out the "plan" again in 3 months and see where we stand with some of these things and refine and revise as needed.  Perfect.  If you'd like to see more about how to do the Twelve Month Set, check it out.*

We got home, ready to kick ass at parenting and being fabulous human beings in general.....and within 30 minutes Rob dumped out a carton of milk, the cats knocked over a vase running through our house like crazy animals, and Biz threw up on my white sweater.  We looked at each other and laughed and I.....grabbed a bottle of Dawn.

So I guess those magazines are good for something after all.  Duly noted.

*Yeah, you've been Rick Rolled!  I'm an ass and ok with that.  Here's the real link.*  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Pump Up The Volume

Happy 2018!  I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's and is ready for a year of fantastic.  We kept it low key with the shit weather and had a small apps party with some board games, and yes, admittedly, passed out by 10:30.  Damn, I'm old.  I got up on New Year's Day and rocked out an epic 8 miles in honor of 2018 (not ready for 18, so I compromised!) and had a nice quiet set up day with Greg and some friends.

I've been pulling together my arsenal for 2018 - Ironman Training plan in progress, goals set - super scary ones, as the best ones always are.  Greg set up some awesome decals to rock out our workout inspo, check it out!
11:59, baby.  11:59.  It's such a crazy goal for me that it awes me to say aloud, but hey, moonshots happen.  This month is all about the set up to make it work - crafting workout schedules, races, and setting up the crock pot freezer meals and energy bars (Santa brought us a crap ton of gatorade, gum, Epsom salts and clif bars.  We are ridiculous.)

In terms of training, Greg and I are working in 4 week blocks and right now it's all about pumping up the volume.  I've got a solid run base, but my bike kinda sucks, which is *slightly* important in a race where 60% of the race is riding - so, we bike.  Right now my long bike is 3 hours, and I am so damn thankful for the return of crap TV, as my soap has run out of back episodes (no judging, folks.  You all know I love Y & R.  Lalalalalala I can't even hear you).

And to further channel my inner MARRS, I have been absolutely rocking my new workout playlist, which works equally well in the pool, bike or run.  I should note that my music taste is only slightly less questionable than my TV taste, but here goes - a sample of my tunage:

Marshmello - You and Me
Portugal the Man - Feel it Still
Imagine Dragons - Whatever it Takes
Britney Spears - Work B*tch (this never gets old)
Charlie Puth - How Long
Coldplay - Hymn for the Weekend
Calvin Harris - Feels
Antiserum and Mayhem - Hustle
Justin Timberlake - Hair Up
Papa Roch - born for Greatness

I told you.  It's a hot mess.  Are you shocked??

What songs are you loving lately?