What’s my excuse…well let me tell you!

Can’t keep quiet about this and apparently lots of other people can’t either.  I wasn’t going to write about this especially today since I have a to-do list that would kill anyone and deadlines but I can’t keep quiet.

By now most of you have seen this photo:

Maria-Kang

Nothing wrong with the photo.  She has a rockin bod and three cute kids.  Great!

It’s the words.

Forget the old saying:

“Sticks and Stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me”

That’s the biggest load of donkey dung I ever heard.  I say that knowing  my primary love language is words of affirmation.  I love snail mail with handwritten notes and l love to write them.  So don’t ever tell me that words don’t matter.  They can fill your heart and devastate it as well.

People have accused this woman ( sorry no time to look up her name) of  “Mommy shaming”.  Yup although I doubt that was her intent. Still…mmmm.

Mommy guilt is the gift that keeps on giving.  One quick example:

On the radio yesterday was a female disc jockey talking about things Moms remember, how they mess up and giving words of encouragement to all Moms that we are doing the best we can.  You know what it brought to mind for me?

The time I TOTALLY forgot to send in treats to the pre-school for my son’s third birthday.  He came home wearing the birthday crown and my heart sank.

You know what is really bad about it?

He is 26 now and I  STILL feel bad about it.   ( not obsessing over it but I was surprised when that memory and those feelings came barreling back)

We don’t need to be reminded that it seems like every other Mom is super Mom and we don’t measure up.

As you all know I am all about fitness and eating healthy.   One of my favorite shows is “Extreme Weight diabetes Loss”  where one person is transformed in a year..yup takes a whole year.  And yes it’s TV and they have access to all kinds of resources.  BUT the weight and fitness issues are never just about over-eating and excuses.  There are traumas and limiting beliefs and issues that just keep them stuck not just excuses.

I have to admit I am not sure what other words she could have used that would have made it better.  Maybe she chose them to create a publicity storm much like Mylie Cyrus and twerking  although she claims she just wanted to inspire..really??

On Good Morning America, Sam Champion, the weather guy said he was inspired.

Not so fast buddy boy.  You can be inspired all you want but it is not the same for the Mom who:

  • longs for just one uninterrupted shower
  • got up with one child, went back to bed and then up with another..total time asleep= zero
  • spent the night in the hospital with a critically ill child
  • would like just one thing in her house not to be sticky
  • would like to use the bathroom without an audience

Taking care of small children is a work-out in itself.  That being said I also think Moms need some time to call their own and some may choose to work out..others may just want a nap.  Its all okay.  Being a Mom has seasons to it.  Find your rhythm.

The other dangerous part of this is the husband who looks at it, looks at his wife and says..well she can do it why can’t you?  Granted these guys are jerks or just not thinking but still.

If this chick wants to inspire other Moms then do it in a kinder, gentler way and put on more clothes. I’m all about cute work out wear but this stuff is just for show.

Yup I’m really cranky about this.  I am curious…does this photo inspire you?

Running on the beach, Bo Derek made it look so easy!

If you are younger than I am you may not remember the movie “10” so the reference to Bo Derek may escape you.  Let me catch you up quickly.

bo-derek-10-bikini

This is how Bo Derek looked running on the beach in the movie.

And when I finally had the chance ( after several attempts) to run on the beach guess what??   I did NOT look like this!

Where is the laugh track when you need one ? 🙂

As with most things I have never tried, my imagination and reality had a disconnect.  First off I discovered ( in a blonde moment) that not all beaches are made for running.

I tried in Florida and my feet just sunk into the soft sand .  I got a better work-out trying to get my feet out of the sand than actually running on it which I quickly gave up.

So when we were in Myrtle Beach this past week-end and I saw  so many people running on the beach I knew my Bo Derek, and Chariots of Fire moment had come at last!myrtle beach

I headed out to the beach in the morning, the heat was rising, waves crashing, and wind blowing and I started running.  I am gliding along the perfect sandy surface that gave just enough to cushion my feet and started thinking we have got to move here, I want to run on the beach everyday, this is fabulous, this is easy and then I….

TURNED AROUND

and my delightful run turned into a battle with the wind.  Running into it  slowed me down, left me gasping, sweating and a little discouraged and my thoughts of running on the beach every day disappeared.

So my Bo Derek moment ( minus the braids, the boobs and the fabulous body) had started in a spectactular fashion and ended like I end most of my runs..a sweaty mess.

And that is okay.

I would do it again except  I would only run one way and have Paul come pick me up at the end!  Just kidding..maybe.  And next time for sure I need to have “Bolero” on my Ipod.  Whatever works and gets us out there running, right?

Until next time..keep triing,

It’s Thoughtful Thursday! Forgetting to be grateful for….

Happy Thoughtful Thursday!  Feel honored as I am postponing cleaning my frig to write this post.  You see cleaning my refrigetrator is one of my all time favorite things to do!

NOT!

There is a lesson for me in gratitude in that statement.  As many of you know I sprained my wrist this week when I “gracefully” fell off my bike.  I stopped to get a drink of water, was lost in my thoughts and didn’t clip out of my pedals fast enough and over I went.

IMG0072

Since then I have found myself becoming aware of all the little things I take for granted.  So in addition to Thoughtful Thursday it is also Thankful Thursday!

Here is a short list:

  • padded bike pants ( saved my behind)
  • bike gloves
  • my friend who was home and came and got me
  • its a sprain and not broken ( phew)
  • motrin 🙂
  • healing quickly
  • my son being home to do things like cut up that yummy watermelon and basically do the things I can’t
  • the ability ( when this heals) to ( without pain) open toothpaste tubes, turn doorknobs, tramadol carry stuff, turn the ignition on my car, write…..

I could make a list a mile long with that last one.  Holy Cow!  Oh and it is my right wrist..and, of course, I am right handed.

So as I headed upstairs to my office to write this and avoid cleaning the frig I wondered “have I ever been grateful that I have a refrigerator to clean AND the ability to put food in it week after week?”

Of course not..I just looked at it as one those “necessary” pain in the butt things I have to do.

So today and hopefully everyday ( no promises from this very human person) I will be grateful for all those things, people and abilities that I have that I often just assume will always be there for me.

It is humbling to see how very rich I am in those people and abilities.

So go out and make it a Two for One Thoughtful AND Thankful Thursday!

I’m off to clean my frig with a smile on my face for a change!!

Cheers!

My Relationship Status with the Treadmill: “It’s Complicated”

Dear Treadmill,

I need you, I want you, I dislike you intensely.  You are always there for me, calling me, acting coy.  You whisper sweet encouragement like:

  • I will go as fast or as slow as you want
  • Your running wish is my command
  • I have a fan for you and lots of buttons for you,the gadget queen
  • I will keep you warm and dry
  • I will hold your water and make it available at any time
  • Music or TV..whatever you wish
  • If I fall ill my friend is right next to me as my back up

So I succumb to your sweet whispers as it rains or snows or even in the dark of night.  And you…

BETRAY ME…with

  • confusing buttons that make me go faster than I want
  • boredom…the scenery never changes
  • throwing me off when I dared to lose concentration
  • throwing me off again when I dared to remove my jacket and forgot to keep running
  • video taping the whole thing ( I think you have a deal with American Funniest Home Videos)
  • no sympathy for my scraped hands and knees ( see above)  I swear I heard you chuckle

32345846

And yet I can’t resist going back and giving,you, Miss Treadmill, another try.  We are getting better at getting along.

You haven’t thrown me off the last couple of times ( my knees and  hands thank you), I’m learning to push the right buttons and have outsmarted you by staying focused ( instead of being like the dog who suddenly sees “squirrel”)

After looking for a you tube video to post to this blog I now understand your reluctance to be nice.

I found people who abused  you by:

  • running on you with high heels ( yeah..I’d throw her off too in a nano second and you did )
  • trying to bike on you instead of run
  • running drunk ( no explanation needed on what happened there)
  • trying to jump on after you are already running at full speed
  • playing hopscotch on you and your friends ( jumping from one running treadmill to the next)

Here’s a link to some of  “those”  treadmill abusers:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4XFDweEgeU

So despite your attitude problem, Miss Treadmill, I will continue to try but in the meantime I have bad news.

The open road will always be my main squeeze…oh yeah!

Run for the dream..just don’t run out of gas!

This past Sunday I completed my third half marathon and the only one I have attempted in warm weather.  The weather and Vitamin P ( procrastination) are the two biggest obstacles to my running.

I always come away  from these races with some good insights, a few chuckles and some new ( although often temporary) friends.

Here is what I learned from the Run for the Dream Half Marathon:

  • Don’t run out of gas.  I mean this in the truest sense.  Nothing like rolling into the parking lot on fumes!
  • Just glance at the weather predictions and I mean just look at whatever lame drawing they have..you know the ones with the clouds, sun, rain drops etc.  DO NOT READ the prediction of 81% humidity ( aka sauna)  Not the kind of adenaline rush I wanted the night before especially since I think it should be 65, sunny and with a light breeze for EVERY race.  ( a girl can wish can’t she?)
  • Remember not to break my rule of NOT looking at the race course and description before the race  Yup I looked and then remembered my mantra “Ignorance about hills  IS bliss!”

Okay..enough of the don’ts ..here are some aha’s.  Some are new and some are just things that have come to past over time.

  • No matter how good I feel or how strong I finish I always look like hell at the finish line..and that is okay.  I will never figure out how some women finish the race and still look fresh. And yes I am jealous!!
  • I like smaller races.  This one had between 2500-3000 runners.  Sounds like alot but not really. I’ve done a 10k with 40,000 of my closest friends and decided that 3,000 sweaty people is enough for me.
  • Go for the water even if its to pour it down my back or front.  The back is for the cooling effect..the front..well it gives a more dramatic display that I am actually working and sweating more intensely than I really am !
  • Don’t forget to have fun..here I am at mile 8.5 having some fun with the local parrotheads..I think if it had been a real bar half the runners would have quit right there…:)IMG_0071
  • Have a plan if  I end up being the very last person in..it hasn’t happened so far but the plan is in place.

Ready for this?

If I am going to have a police car following me becasue I am bringing up the rear then its time to do the ole princess wave, keep smiling and be grateful that I am at least running a tad faster than the police car or that some people may , possibly,  think I am famous.

Yeah right…

Seriously..I would work that bit so hard people would be cheering..or maybe the volunteers would be cheering that they can finally go home!

I  loved this race for the name alone. Who wouldn’t like to “Run for the Dream”?  Maybe I will just pick my races for the name from now on..hey works for me.

I do like to set an intention for each race long before the race day.  This time it was for a young adult named Jeremy and his family.  Jeremy had a pool accident last August that left him paralyzed from the chest down.  He is working hard to regain the use of his arms and legs.  His whole family runs for the dream EVERY day.  They could map out a course but hills and mountains and obstacles that they must tackle pop up when they least expect it.

Thinking of them and how they face their “run” everyday with faith, grace and smiles motivated me to get my rear end out the door and on the run.  I thought about them, prayed for them and thanked them for  letting me be a witness to their strength.

So Jeremy..I almost ran out of gas before the race even started..but I got there, I started, I finished and I thought of you.  May you continue on your race for YOUR dream and may all your future hills level out as you run your own race to recovery.

Oh and guess what..it turned out Sunday was Jeremy’s birthday ( I had no idea)…Happy Happy Birthday Jeremy..May all YOUR dreams come true!

Blessings,

The Worst Excuse Yet for Not Exercising..but funny!

I’ve heard a lot of excuses for not exercising and I’ve come up with many on my own.  Some of the excuses are valid, others borderline on “the dog ate my homework” “the dog ate my running clothes, shoes, water bottle..”  Wait , judging from the puppies I have had that one might actually be true.  🙂

issues_chewing

The one I heard recently was the best yet.  Well maybe not the best but the fact that it came from a guy makes it pretty unbelievable.

If it came from a woman it might fly but only a little.

Am I being sexist here?  You bet!

Just to be clear, this is an absolutely true story.  Talked to the person who actually witnessed it.

So this guy goes to his boss and starts complaining about one of the guys that works out at the company gym around the same time he does.

The boss is listening to this guy  complain and the guy won’t shut up . He just drones on and on and finally makes his point.  The boss is multi tasking, sort of just humoring this chronic complainer while shuffling papers. When he hears his actual complaint he looks up and just says:

“Get Out”!

His complaint?  One of the guys on the treadmill smells so bad that it keeps Homer from being able to exercise.

I’m not sure which is funnier..that his boss told him to get out or his excuse for not exercising.

IT”S A GYM  If there is one place you can stink, it is THE GYM.  I stink in the gym..not as much as the guys but I know I do and it’s okay.

Now if the guy was sitting next to him at work and stinks..I get it..make the boss tell the guy to go shower and get some deodorant but its THE GYM!

smelly

When I heard this all I could think of was a bit comedian Jeff Foxworthy does about the difference between men and women and smells.  Women are totally grossed out.  Guys..well guys smell something like old gym clothes in a bag, and they say something like “Woohee that smells bad” and then walks over to his friend and says’ Hey Jimbo..ya want take a whiff”  like its a badge of honor.

I think the boss had it right.  If you can’t take the smell then “Get out”

I’m off to the gym.  If you need to find me I’ll be the stinky one.

Let’s play “Where is Jenn?” on her Virtual Tri to Florida aka the UNamazing Race

I think it might be easier to find Waldo than to find me.  Trying to keep all my plates spinning in the air has been quite a challenge.  This virtual tri is quite the opposite of the Amazing Race.  The only amazing thing about it is that I am still determined to do it.

Hit a few roadblocks but I decided to declare this a “no whining, no excuse zone” so will just leave it at roadblocks.

Okay I will whine about one thing.  I usually love “springing forward” and daylight savings time but my body does not!  I should have been adjusted to the time change by the end of that week.   Instead there were a couple of times I would have paid big bucks to have that hour back.

Then, of course, we have the arrival of spring more winter.  We’ve had more snow in March than in any other month.  Ugh.

Guess that makes two whines!

I even did the treadmill and experienced bad treadmill karma.  You’ll have to wait on that story or perhaps see it on America’s Funniest Home Videos.

So my total mileage so far is 74.58   which means I am almost to the North Carolina border, somewhere on  US 301 S near Sussex Dr.

I truly thought I would be halfway there by now.  Maybe I need a new travel agent.

Swimming will be coming in April…indoors..where there is no snow, it’s warm and hopefully no mirrors 🙂

Who knows..I may find Waldo on my journey…wonder if he tri’s??
bldg

I guess he does!!

Keep Triing!!

Asking for a do over as I begin again on my virtual triathlon

Well I had good intentions of starting my virtual triathlon from Virginia to Florida  on Jan 14th.  Well as they say:

Sh*&t Stuff happens, like life.

Also had good intentions of posting my progress on a weekly basis.  (see above)

Wish I could get a do over but lately I have been like a dog in a room full of squirrel, totally distracted and unproductive and  frustrated.

So  I never made it into the water, or on the road or on my bike the week of Jan 14th.

The good news is  I am now on a  roll and I am a movin and a groovin.   So without telling anyone I  humbly asked for a restart.

The new official start date was January 21st!  And as you can tell from today’s date ( Feb 11th) I am running behind in the updates.

My biggest hang-ups getting started ( aside from my chronic procrastination) were:

  • Getting the bike set up.
  • Getting over my love of being outdoors ( I really do grieve that)
  • My  hatred of treadmills.
  • Getting my butt to the pool.

Out of all of those the biggest frustration was the bike.  So it went something like this.

1. Clear a spot in our disaster of a basement for my bike.

2. Get bike trainer set up.  Watch video of how to do it ( I’ve done it once before but “poof” I forgot how)

3. Get ready to call Kinetic to tell them their video sucks because the set-up instructions are buried in one of the segments.

Phew!!  Ended up being easier than I thought.

4.  Realize this part of the basement is extremely warm. The rest of my house is chilly..what gives?

5.  Get on my bike and uh oh no way to track mileage.

6.  Get on google, get on Amazon..get what I need ordered, pay for 1 day  shipping.

7. Clean up basement =move all of the stuff from one room to another, move couches and desks by myself.  Call it a day.

8.  Watch it rain for the 6th day straight and wonder if I should be boating down to Florida.

9. Get cadence /mileage sensor.  Instructions suck.  Google comes in to rescue me.  Still can’t  figure it out.

10.  Clean  more  of   basement and decide SOMEONE in this family is a hoarder.

11.   Throw in the towel on the start of my virtual tri..

I FINALLY got the sensor installed on my bike.  The reviewers on Amazon were wrong or we have different ideas of what an easy set up  means.  I did learn what a crank shaft is and and a chain stay (not as exciting as it sounds!)

Here’s a photo of a bike on a trainer ( and yes I wear my clip in shoes)..tried one of me but the lighting in the old basement pretty much stinks!

bike trainer

So the good news is I DID get started.  The even better news is I LOVE being on my bike inside !  Who knew?  I have made it out to run but have yet to get to the pool although that is coming.

Ugh..the thought of putting on a swimsuit in February and not being in the tropics is not that appealing but it must be done.

So here is my total mileage as of Feb 11th.  I have traveled about 41 miles.  Which puts me somewhere on Ruffin Rd and of course still in Virginia.

I have about 50 more miles before I cross into North Carolina.  mmmm guess I had better get busy biking, running and swimming!

Keep Triing!

Join me as I Virtually Tri my way to Florida!

As I write this I am  mourning the loss of the perfect weather we were promised for this past week-end and did not get.  All week long the weather guessers kept saying it was going to be 70 degrees on Saturday and Sunday.  Even for Virginia that is unusual.

I pictured myself running and biking and doing a little garden prep work and enjoying the sun. What wasn’t mentioned much or I didn’t hear was all the rain.  Friday, Sat, Sun, Mon. and again today.rain

I was also slightly delusional in thinking the weather might be a predictor of things to come and I would not have to resort to doing most of my training indoors or endure questionable weather.  WRONG!

So to keep me motivated I am going to do a Virtual Triathlon from my house here in Virginia to St. Augustine, Florida.  If map quest is correct it will be a total of 658 miles.

One of the items on my adventure list is to bike across the US or at least down the East or West Coast.  I KNOW I will get to do this but while I am planning and getting things into place I thought I would try to do it virtually to keep me training and motivated during this damp, cold and dreary weather.

Since I like variety I will be running, biking and swimming.  Each week I will post how far I traveled and by following a map I can tell you where I am exactly ( sort cancer of).  There may be days (often)where I end up in the middle  of nowhere.

If I do end up somewhere that is actually on the map I will actually post a little about the area and perhaps actually learn a little geography.

When I can get outside I will and let my trusty Garmin watch keep track of miles.  Indoors it will be the treadmill and bike trainer and as for swimming I FINALLY found an indoor pool to swim in and there is always my indoor swim trainer.  Tracking the swimming will be the most challenging but I will figure it out.

I actually started yesterday, January 14th and I am guessing I will be at this for about 4-5 months considering I am pretty slow and my mileage isn’t where I want to be in any of the three sports AND let’s see my job, my family and everything else life throws at me may create speed bumps along the way.

Who knows I may surprise myself.

So this is a pretty mild kick off to all of this.  I will make short posts weekly about my progress and longer ones if anything BIG happens.

I have a few “My life as a sitcom” posts waiting to be tweeked to keep you laughing.

Right now I need to go set up my bike trainer and get ready to rock n roll some miles.

Oh and anyone who wants to join me..let me know!

Let the tri-ing begin!

Owning my own story of Marathon Madness

blowup_pam_0001Registration opened today for the Marine Corps Marathon to be held on Oct. 28th.   The marathon hadn’t crossed my mind much this year.  I registered for the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon and then ended up bowing out and registering for physical therapy instead 🙁

I really wanted to run it and have it be my very first ( and possibly my one and only) marathon.

I was tempted to register for it again today especially when I saw it was  98% full  about an hour and 15 minutes after registration opened.

I knew it would fill up fast but this must be some kind of record!

Turned out it was.  The 30,000 online registration spots were spoken for in 2 hrs and 41 minutes.  Wow.

Even though I know it was the right decision I still am a little sad that I am not one of those 30,000 runners who registered today.

And I am a little relieved.  I still want to run a marathon but I am happy to not have the pressure of training for it right now.  I am slowly increasing my running mileage and getting back into a regular running routine.  My first official race will be a 10k at the end of the month and if I am smart I will listen to my body and run/walk it.

Not only will I need to listen to my body but I will also need to swallow my pride as well.  Something I was not willing to do last year for the marathon.

Yes I didn’t run it because I needed to rehab my back.  That was a smart decision.  BUT the rest of the story is the part I need to own.   I realized early on in my training that I would need to run/walk the marathon.  I read a couple of books and decided it was my best option.

If my back hadn’t gotten in my way  and prevented me from running the marathon then truthfully I believe my head ( my stinking thinking) my pride and my fear of being judged would have done me in.

Even though I was doing fair in the run/walk training despite my back I couldn’t get the picture out of my mind of how it would look to run/walk the marathon.  I saw myself running for a set number of minutes and then walking for one or two minutes and being embarrassed ( esp at the beginning of the race) as everyone passed me by.

Now I am embarrassed that I actually let this limiting belief get in my way.

I have been a spectator at this race two or three times when my husband ran it.  I saw the beginning, middle and end and I NEVER saw anyone walking in the beginning.

There probably were people walking I just didn’t see them.  And even if  nobody did, there is a first for everything.  After all my whole goal was to finish.  Actually my goal was to make it over the bridge in the time alloted so I could finish the race and not be picked up by the “stragglers” van.

So I often wonder if I hadn’t had to bow out because of my back would I have been able to step up to the starting line and run my own race, my way??

It wasn’t until recently that I was willing to own the “head” part of my story.   My whole being minus the negative thinking  is now ready to run a marathon however I choose to run it…run, walk, skip, moon walk..its all good .

And I still want to do a marathon but no pressure.  We have the Richmond Marathon here in Nov.  The beauty of this race is that its also a half marathon and an 8k.  It is local and little less crowded. I can opt for the shorter distances if  I am not ready for the whole 26.2 miles.  ( FYI, I have to opt in for the shorter distances a couple of days before the race)

No pressure here..not even with the registration, although I will register soon.

I will keep you posted periodically on my progress as well as a couple of triathlons I am hoping to do.

Honestly I already feel victorious. Owning my true marathon story is more than half the battle.

It is also in keeping with my favorite quote :

“The miracle isn’t that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start”  John Bingham

You know me..I have to tri!