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!

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My life as a sitcom…new ways not to shower!

I thought having two guys that worked out and all their smelly work out clothes had pretty much indoctrinated me to the world of manly smells. Add on the experience of three pre-teens who thought showering was optional and I claimed to be a smell expert.  

Out of 2 daughters and  a son I was not surprised that the girls got the showering thing down faster than my son ( as in you need to do it every day not just once a week or when you clear a room with your smell)

So I was quite surprised to find that grown, well educated women had come up with a new way not to shower!

Yes you read that right. Grown women not showering.

But wait there’s more.

Not showering AFTER a workout and going on to work.   Boy do I feel sorry for their officemates

While I can’t reveal my source this is first hand info from a guy who wears his work out clothes until they practically beg to be washed and even he is grossed out by the no showering thing.

Here is the deal.  These women workout on the treadmill, or eliptical or bike.

They place industrial size fans in front of the equipment.

My gym does not have these so I guess if you are going to do this you have to pick the gym by the size of their fans.

They work out and presumably sweat just like the rest of us .  The fans however are running at full speed and make it seem like they don’t sweat and I guess they still feel fresh and clean after their workout because ….

THEY DO NOT SHOWER AFTERWARDS!

What????  I really didn’t believe this at first so I had it verified by several people.

I even wondered if the fans were to alleviate hot flashes but no..and even if they were to relieve those short bursts of personal summers, a shower would still be needed.

Is this a new form of multi tasking?  Have we gotten so busy that we have reverted to the hygiene ( or should that be hijinks) of a 12 year old boy?

Honestly if my son had thought of this when he was twelve I would have laughed and given him credit for being inventive as I hurried his smelly bod into the shower.

The guys hate the fans.  Let’s face it, guys sweat way more than most women so when the fans are on presumably keeping the gals fresh enough for the rest of the day, the guys are freezing their buns off.

One guy tried to turn the fans off and all hell broke loose and bit by bit the no showering thing was revealed.

Pretty soon all gyms will have to add to their list of rules posted in the gym.  You know the ones:

  • No spitting
  • No swearing
  • Wipe off the equipment when you are finished
  • Limit your workout to 30 minutes when people are waiting

AND

The fans DO NOT REPLACE taking a shower!

big fan

Of all the strides women have made in the workforce I don’t think smelling like a guy at the office was ever on the list.

I just can’t make this stuff up.  It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer thought it was okay to shower AND rinse his produce ( lettuce etc) at the same time.

EWWWWW

We are women hear us roar smell us coming.

OMG  I think I just gave that reality show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” an idea.

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Grandma’s T-shirt had a best friend too! Who knew?

Remember how I discovered my t-shirt has a best-friend?   Well it turns out that party in our  closest has been going on for generations.

My grandmother was born in 1902 and lived a full 90 years.    That is a lot of party time for her bra’s and shirts blouses.  Honestly I am not sure she ever ever wore a t-shirt.

How do I know the party started generations ago?  Well look what I found in a box of memorabilia that belonged to my Grandma.

bosom friend 2

Whoa!  Go Grandma!

When she was a young ingenue, Victoria’s Secret truly was a secret yet to be revealed.

I imagine the bras my grandmother endured were built for function ( probably by a man) and not all that imagineear.com/pharmacy/ attractive or comfortable but they managed to have friends anyways.

One can only imagine what this friend did for my Grandma…

Inside bosom friend

Carried her

  • Extra cash
  • smokes
  • number of her next hook up ( sorry grams)
  • gum
  • lipstick
  • ???

I only wish Grandma had left some hint as to what she really did carry.  Come to think of it my Grandma hailed form West Virginia.

Where is that box of memorabilia?  When I find it my guess is I’ll find a cute little flask, just big enough to hold a few sips of moonshine and small enough to fit in her bosom buddy.

Rock on Grandma..that is a true bosom buddy!

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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!

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Victory in the tri-ing!

I am back..finally.   Turns out I am not good at keeping all my plates in the air and I let this one drop.  Now that I have a few less plates spinning and a little more time I can finally catch up on those items that I put on the back burner.

I did complete one triathlon this season.  Wanted to do more but it wasn’t meant to be.

It wasn’t my best triathlon but it was the one where I learned the most about myself.   So my favorite part worst sport of the three is swimming.  Its a wonder I don’t drown every time.  I even took a swim class this winter.  It helped…sort of.

Even though I was close to being the last one out of the water I am going to give myself credit for a couple of things:

  • I didn’t have to be  rescued by the kayakers
  • I kept my sense of humor
  • My slow swim made it easy to find my bike since almost everybody had already left!

Off on the bike. Surely I would make up time here.  It was not to be.  Here is the short version of what happened in the middle of the killer hill ( of course)!

  • my chain came off
  • get off bike fix chain
  • get back on bike and try to make it up this hill ( did I mention how insanely steep it is?)
  • chain comes off again
  • get off bike
  • swear
  • fix chain
  • cross fingers

Once I got back on the bike for try #2 I can’t get my momentum back to get the hill

  • Momentarily think about quitting
  • more swearing
  • walk bike up hill
  • get back on and pedal like mad.

The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful.  I found my sense of humor and even scolded the cop who was busy taking up the safety cones before I even passed his checkpoint.

By the time I started the run I knew I was dead last.  So I spent time making peace with that during the run only to discover at the turnaround there was someone behind me.

Seriously??   I just made peace with it and now ..mmm… no time to think just run.

One of the nice things of coming in at the tail end is that there are lots of people to cheer you in.  They are truly happy for you and you know the clapping and cheers are sincere.

After some water and a banana I got into the crowd to cheer the last person in.  While standing there I found out it was her first tri, she beat breast cancer and also lost over 100 lbs.

WOW!!

Suddenly my woes during the race seemed trivial compared to the real life challenges of this triumphant participant.

She may have been last in the race but she was first in facing real life challenges.

It’s people like her who inspire me to keep “triing” no matter what the outcome because there are victories to be had just in the triing!

Be inspired!

black-triathlon-swim-bike-run-repeat-underwear_design

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Multi task and you may end up taking a public bath!! or worse

No-Texting-and-Walking-Sign-The-Skiffler

Mulit tasking seems to have become an art form despite all the studies that say our brains really can’t perform several functions at the same time.   Let me rephrase that.  Our brains can’t handle doing several tasks at the same time and do them well.

Still we try.  All of our electronic gear makes us think we can do it all without cloning ourselves.

We can walk and text…NOT as evidenced by the video below.
Woman falls in fountain while texting

I’m glad she wasn’t outside where she could have fallen into a  ditch, walked into oncoming traffic or gotten hit by a car.

Her cell phone took a bath ( not good)  and she was embarrassed ( survivable) and this video has pretty much gone viral so she will never live it down.  On the plus side she gave us all a good laugh.

Speaker phone is another mulit tasker tool..useful when on perpetual hold..not so useful by lazy people who refuse to hold the phone to their ear and then FORGET to tell you that you are on speaker phone and then EVERYONE hears things they are not suppose to hear.  Not to mention you can hear the person you are talking to doing everything BUT listening to the conversation.

So how does this relate to Marathon Monday ( once again falling on a Wed)??

Quite frequently I take my dog to the very end of a street near our home.  There are several vacant lots so its a good place to play.  Since its the very end of the street no one comes down there unless they live there or are lost so there is very little traffic.

So Max and I are playing and I see a woman out for a run heading towards us.  We are blatantly visible.  By the way, Max is a pretty good size golden retriever..a little hard to miss.  She had her headphones on and was NOT paying attention.  Max , of course, as all goldens do was absolutely certain that this person would be more than happy to pet him, pay attention to him etc.

Goldens operate on the toddler rule  “Its all about me, no matter what, if you came to see Jenn, you really online pharmacy came to see me”.

I was about a  second too late from grabbing his collar to keep him from running up to this gal.

He conveniently became deaf to the “come” command.

She screamed..turns out she is afraid of dogs. She yelled this to me as  I grabbed Max..  she continued to the end of the street (not too far) back up the road and on her merry way.   I felt horrible the rest of the day.  I should have had him on his leash, how stupid of me and a few other choice phrases, until I had a realization.

She wasn’t paying attention.  She KNEW she was afraid of dogs.  We were visible and yet she kept running towards us because she was not paying attention, had her music up so loud I could hear it clearly and she was totally zoned out much like the woman texting .

Yes I am partly to blame  HOWEVER as a female runner I have a few  AWARENESS rules ( awareness=common sense)

  • When running alone, no matter what time of day…BE AWARE OF YOUR SURRONDINGS.…duh!
  • Sometimes I run with my Ipod but I am still AWARE OF MY SURROUNDINGS ( volume down low or only one ear bud in)
  • If you are afraid of dogs, cats, deer, construction workers, snakes, clowns..whatever…be AWARE and don’t keep running towards them if you see them ahead.  Duh again!
  • Know your route.  I don’t care if its the safest neighborhood around, don’t run in isolated areas.

Next time you are trying to do several things at once step back and check in with yourself

  • Are you being fully present with what’s important?
  • Are you aware of your surroundings and the people around you?
  • Are you doing any of  these tasks well?

If the answer is no to any of these then slow down and do 1 thing at a time ( what a concept)

Or keep multi tasking and watch yourself fall into a hole while running or into a fountain while texting..I’ll be the one LMAO nearby.

By the way.. I am allowed 1 or 2 cranky blogs a year..  Guess this counts for one!

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Marathon Monday : If life is a marathon I desperately need a rest stop.

Welcome to my Marathon Monday Posts.  Happy Monday.   While I am not officially registered for the Marine Corps Marathon I am already committed to it so starting today and every Monday until the marathon and possibly beyond that you will be seeing my “Monday Marathon ” posts.

These won’t always be about the actual marathon.   And they might not always make it here on a Monday.  Every Monday’s post will be a surprise, even to me!  Whatever pops up about the marathon or life in general is fair game.

If life is a marathon I  AM in desperate need of a rest  stop.  The vision of  that is so appealing.  I am working, working , working, cleaning up, cleaning out, cooking, running errands, my mind is going in a thousand different directions, phone calls, e-mails, paying bills, crossing off my things on my to-do list, adding things on my to-do list, adding things I have already done just so I can cross them off and then as I round the corner in my house…a rest stop.  Everything fades away and someone offers me a drink of water, an energy bar,  there is a place to sit and put my feet up, it is quiet, my breathing slows, my mind empties…a candle is lit.

Sounds great .  I was all ready to write about how this rest stop bit could be one of my New Years Resolutions but since its Jan 3rd that might be a problem.  I am already 3 days behind.  MMMM…not really, at least not for me.  My New Year always starts on the 4th of Jan.  Really..it truly is the start of a new year for me because ITS MY BIRTHDAY!!!

Feel free to send birthday wishes tomorrow…I will not grow old before my time so wait until tomorrow.

Today,however is my grandaughter, Summer’s  5th birthday.  She was my gift, a day early in 2006.  Best gift I ever got!!

I realized as I prepared for the holidays that I really do need to find a rest stop somewhere in my busy days.  I did take a day off after Christmas, stayed in my pajamas, read, lounged around, watched a movie.  You know what?  I discovered doing nothing is exhausting!  I enjoyed it however I have decided that if I kept that up I would be the living example of Newtons first law

“an object at rest stays at rest” ( thank-you Google!)

“Yup..there’s Mom.  She sat down one day and never got up.  Lately we’re having a hard time figuring out where she ends and the chair begins”

3787_picture_of_an_exhausted_woman_in_an_easychair
Okay..not that much rest.  Balance would be a better word.  With a sprinkle of “simplify”, “fun”, and “serenity”

Sounds great.  My resolution for 2011 is balance.  Where do I start?  mmmm  my mind is wandering already.   Balance is a great word for 2011 but it is  not quite doing it for me.

If you know me then you know I am not a one word kinda gal.  That would be my dear hubby who is quiet anyway and with me around, well, he is down to one word here and there.

A phrase for 2011 would suit me better.  So here it is!

“Anticipation of quiet creativity”

This is my rest stop.  This is what is getting me out of bed in the morning.   Huh?  Let me explain.

  • Anticipation…looking forward to.
  • Quiet….slowing down, centering,balance
  • Creativity…anything that gets my juices going..writing, reading, baking, scrap-booking….music, walks with my dog.  even running. Running doesn’t “slow” me down but it does pace me with a comforting rhythm.

The anticipation of being creative enough to fit this into each day is incredibly energizing.

So there you have it.  I found my rest stop.  Its up to me to keep it fully stocked and always available.  It is my respite.

You can do it too.  Its free, its fun, its essential.  Take one right now and promise to take one, two or three everyday.

You are so worth it!

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Semper Fi…the weather made me do it!

Sometimes I just know.   Its that feeling in my gut.  Intuition.  It feels right and I know I will regret it if  I don’t do it.

It can be about other people, family, friends, acquaintances or it can be about ME!!

The powerful ones are those that come to me and I think really?  No way!!

I shove it aside and it pops up again and I say…c’mon, really?

I shove it aside again but this time it doesn’t budge it stays put and says “I am here to stay, deal with me, make the decision and we both already know what it is.

I tried to ignore this last one.  I tried to tell myself that its only a maybe and I could wait until Feb 23rd to make a decision.

I really did try.

I knew I was in trouble when I started smiling about it, when I started visualizing how it could be…uh oh…this isn’t going to wait until Feb 23rd.

I was starting to feel like Kevin Costner in “The Field of Dreams” with the voices but instead of  saying “Build it and he will come”  mine would say:

“Do it because you can…now is the time”.

For me this is a big deal…because I have never wanted to do this before..nope not me..no way I want to do this.  Some of you reading this have already done this many times and it’s not a biggee.  But for me…  I can’t  believe I am even considering doing this but it feels right so I know I must.

I want, must, have to  run the Marine Corps Marathon.  For whatever reason this will not leave me.  And it can’t be any other marathon.  It has to be the Marine Corps Marathon.   So now that I am saying it I can quiet that inner voice.

So here is the question…can a woman who just started running about 6 years ago, train and run a marathon knowing arthritis that 2 short months later she will be having that double nickle birthday??  Am I crazy?  (Relatives and close friends may NOT answer that last question)

Part of me thinks this is about triumphing over the excuses I came up with this summer for not running.  Seems I have hooked into the weather like I am Sam Champion and use it as the perpetual excuse NOT to run.  It’s too hot, it’s too humid, it looks like rain, is that thunder I hear?  And as the weather turns colder..it’s too cold , windy, the wind chill makes it blah, blah blah.  Can anybody relate?

I just posted about what happened to me three weeks ago while running in the cold.   The Cliff Notes version is I ended up with a bad cough and pulled muscles from coughing.  Find the longer version here: Cough and Stand up Straight

By the way I DID do a short run on the treadmill today..felt good to get back into it.

So now that I have posted it here and told a few people, it is real.  My next step is to start training  AND register on Feb 23rd.

The actual marathon is not until Oct. 30th so 2011 will be a year of races and training .  I’ll keep you posted.

So what about you?   What is your GUT telling you…are you listening?

Take a moment, pay attention throughout the day.  Give yourself some quiet time…turn off the TV, the music, go for a walk.  Allow that inner voice to speak..give it some time. It will show up maybe not right away and certainly not everyday.  But its there.

It might be telling you to call someone, send a note, try something new, step out of your comfort zone.  Let me know what you hear or feel…especially if it tells you to run the Marine Corps Marathon..I could use a buddy..or at least a cheering section.

Hoora!  Semper Fi

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Cough and Stand Up Straight….

I was going to title this “Cough but Don’t Bend Over” but I thought too many people might take it the wrong way.  So I titled it the opposite, however it means the same thing.

I speak from recent experience.  Clean thinking here please.  Trying to keep this blog on the PG side of things.

I acquired a rather nasty cough that would not go away.   Actually I had gone running about 3 weeks ago in some rather cold weather and came home feeling like I had smoked a pack of cigarettes.

The hacking turned into a cough and finally I went to the doctor.  I obviously had something brewing before the run as the antibiotics cleared up the cough.

The medicine did not clear up my sore muscles from coughing .

You would think I would learn from experience as this has happened to me before.   Evidently I am a REALLY slow learner.

If you see someone cough or sneeze in slow motion you would see what stress it puts on the body.

I don’t need to see it, I can feel it.

All the muscles on the left and right side of my chest are pulled.  As the day wears on it feels like I am wearing a corset that someone is gradually tightening.

Those women who wore those things were more than a little nuts.

Since cold and flu season is creeping around the corner waiting to pounce I suggest you refrain from bending over or using any other poor body mechanics to cough.  Grab a pillow to brace yourself, sit down, get some medicine, and be gentle with yourself.

Otherwise you will end up  b&*^%y cranky like me, unable to run and impossible to live with..or so I am told.

Not only are  nurses really bad patients but we are impossibly impatient with the healing process.

Enough already!!!

Monday I am planning to run for the first time in weeks.  Not far and I will probably be a wuss and do it inside on the treadmill.

Okay let me rephrase that lest all the treadmill users think I am criticizing them.

I am going to play it safe and use the treadmill.

I really do prefer to run outside but I will agree that perhaps inside is a better choice this time.

A little exercise will do my body and my mood some good.  My husband and dog will be so relieved.

cough

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