Do it for those who can’t

There have been many times when I have not wanted to run , bike or swim.  Life gets busy , the to do list gets longer and workouts get put on the back burner.

Since April  16, 2007  , whenever I need a push I remember to get out there and do it for those who can’t.

On April 16,  2007 a  familiar place to our family and most of Virginia experienced a horrific tragedy when a student at VA Tech took the lives of 32 innocent people.

Our oldest daughter graduated from Tech. Our second daughter had been there in 2006 in the same dorm.

My heart ached for those families.  I desperately wanted to do something for them.  I wanted them to know that their loved ones would not be forgotten.

So I prayed and I ran.

I dedicated a run to each one of those who lost their life that day.  Before each run I read their biography posted by the family. I looked at their photos.  They were intelligent, fun, energetic people.  They had amazing futures ahead of them.  Many were adventuresome, and athletic.  Community leaders and contributors.   They had so much to give to us and the world and in an unbelievable moment of violence it was taken away.

So I ran because they could not.

Those runs gave me immense peace and deep gratitude for the simple things I often missed while putting one foot in front of the other.   I ran with purpose and prayer to honor their lives.

That week in April was one of grief and happiness for our family.

On Friday April 20th everyone was encouraged to wear Virginia Tech colors to honor those who lost their lives on April 16th.

It was also the day we welcomed our 4th grandchild into our family.  Her name had been picked out months before but it held special meaning that day.

Bella Angelina    Beautiful Angel

I thought of all the beautiful angels we honored that day wearing maroon and orange.  It was everywhere.

Newborn babies, new hope.

Dedicate your next workout to someone who can’t.

You will find new purpose in each stride, each push of the pedal, each swim stroke.  Do it because you can.

Bella AngelinaVT_BANNER

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Rain rain go away

Its the most wonderful time of the year or so the song goes.  And actually it is a great time of year and I am getting better and better each year at focusing on the real reason for the season.

Here in Virginia at this time of year ( actually all year round) the weather is fairly unpredictable.  Last year we had snow one week and 70 degrees the next.

It makes life interesting.

It can ( and has) wreaked  havoc on my training plan.

We have had nothing but cold rainy weather for what seems like forever and since I much prefer to run or bike outside my inner brat optimist wants to believe that each day it will clear up enough and just at the right time for me to get outside and run or bike.

NOT

So I have not been doing much except pulling the covers over my head each morning when I hear the pounding rain..you would think we live in Seattle.  Arghhhh

From past experience I know f I take too many days off  that when I DO get out there I will be having a close intimate realtionship with a king size bottle of motrin and the heating pad.

I hate to admit it and or play the age card but those are the realities when you hit the half century mark !

Boy do I hate seeing that in print!

Since Plan A ( wishing for dry weather) isn’t working I had to come up with other workout choices.

Move to a more cooperative weather climate

Go to the gym Join a gym

Learn to run/bike in the rain

Use our  fairly new eliptical.

My first choice would be to move but I am still traumatized by our last move two years ago and still unpacking.

Last time I joined a gym my money made it there more times than I did.

Well I could learn to endure the elements but I think not.

So..with more rain predicted I made a plan to use the eliptical when the weather doesn’t cooperate and looking into bike trainers ( hey good birthday gift hint hint)

So very early this morning I headed downstairs and made good use of the eliptical.  Happy to be back on track.

Just in time to see clear skies and the sun shining and I swear I heard some snickering.

Keep “triing” everyday….even when the weather is “trying”  Jenneeyore_rain

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Great book, questionable gift giving technique!

My husband is very supportive of all my crazy ideas and adventures.  One bonus of signing up to do the triathlon is he had all kinds of new ideas for gifts for me.  He gets stressed over the holidays which sort of puzzles me since here is the list of people he buys for:

1. Me!!

He claims that the reason he stresses is because once he comes up with a good gift idea  he immediately has to come up with another because my birthday is in early Jan.

( Jan 4th to be exact if any or all of you want to send me a Happy Birthday greeting!)

On Dec. 26th the conversation goes something like this.  “Oh no, your birthday is in 9 days…now what am I going to do, I am out of ideas”   Geez excuse me for being born in Jan.  By the way I have a special place in my heart for those born in Dec. and Jan..more on that in another post.

In our family when you hit big with a gift we call it good gift giving technique…in other words you have put some thought and time into it.

I’m sure Paul thought he had used GGT on the following gift related to our upcoming triathlon.

sft_cover

Pay attention to the title.  SLOW FAT TRIATHLETE!

Gee thanks sweetie, my heart is warm all over…NOT!

Fortunately knowing my husband we all got a good laugh.   The added bonus is this is really GOOD book..its written with humor and really helped me get ready for my first triathlon.  Jayne Williams is the real deal and tells it like is.  She doesn’t gloss over any mistakes she has made , she shares them and moves on.

So while it was questionable GGT, I still use the book, still smile about it and think it ended up being a great gift.

More gift ideas for your triathlete in my next post!!  Cheers, Jenn

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Do these bike pants make my butt look big?? It depends….

The old saying “Once you learn how to ride a bike you never forget” is true except riding a bike when your 10 years old and then again when you’re in your forties is a whole different  kind of  ball game ride.

This is what I learned after several rides:

  • Some guy(s) had alot of fun one day designing a really uncomfortable bike seat
  • Maybe it was a woman because my husband complained more than I did
  • We found ourselves singing that old Billy Crystal tune from the  movie “City Slickers”   …rolling, rolling , rolling gee my a@#@ is swollen…

Seeking the advice of our local bike shop we invested in bike pants.

The best part of bike pants is the padding.

The worst part of the bike pants is the padding.

Last time I checked no one my age is anxious to add any more girth to their backside.

Comfort won out over vanity.

And in the words of my very funny  friend,  Mary Gediman

“Its good practice for depends”

bike_cartoon

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Why Tri…or how did this all get started!

I was sitting at home one day, 6 years ago, when I realized how quickly my life had changed. Suddenly my husband and I were semi empty nesters. Our 16 year old son “lived” at home , at least I saw evidence of him, dirty dishes, dirty laundry, landfill for a bedroom. Our daughter Julie was a sophmore at Virginia Tech and our daughter Sarah had just gotten married in  a wonderfully fun filled large wedding.

Suddenly I had time for me! What a concept. Okay well that lasted about mmmm, not very long. Then I found were going to be grandparents!!

Holy cow!!!

I was thrilled of course but this is a lot to take in. I never even got the chance to nag for grandchildren.

Oh the deprivation.

Well at 46 I didn’t think I looked like a Grandma but it did make me take stock of what I wanted to do/be with the rest of my life. I had the fleeting thought that if I can be a young grandma then maybe I could stick around and be a great grandma.

Holy Cow Again!

Time to get healthy. And I finally had the time(?) , or at least did not have to cater to 4 other schedules, appetites, likes and dislikes. I gave myself a year. My deadline was my 25th wedding anniversary in July…this was now Oct.

Okay that’s not a year, math is not my thing.

I had been avoiding the scale so I’m not sure what my starting weight was.

I WISH this was the way to weigh!

I WISH this was the true!

I lost weight…very slowly and I ‘m not quite sure how much since I am not sure where I started.  I’ m  guessing between 20-30lbs.

I   became a Grandma in May..to Nicholas. Such fun. And to fast forward a bit ..we have been blessed to welcome a grand baby every year since ( except this year 2009) for a total of 5 between our 2 daughters)

Okay onto the condensed version. Rediscovered my sense of adventure and decided to train for a 5k ( 3.2 miles) which is pretty adventuresome for someone who has never run. My husband signed up with me although this was a cake walk for him since he has been running for more than  30 years.

One 5k led to another.

And then  I caught a glimpse of the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon on TV. Much to my  surprise there were other triathlon  distances than the grueling Iron Man. One was called a Sprint Tri and it was a half mile swim, a 12 mile bike ride and you guessed it a 5k run!!

And the next one was over our wedding anniversary!!  In Minnesota!

Can you say ADVENTURE.

Nothing says love like sweating together.

So I signed us up without really even knowing what it involved.

Stay tuned…the tri adventure has just begun!

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