Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy Feet, um Toe

More decisions…Well, we’ve decided to nix Disney in January. The hubby has decided to shoot for an Olympic distance tri in September and is joining a tri training program to prepare for that (read $). Between entry fees ($) and other tri-related costs ($$$) (not to mention NYC ($), birthdays ($) and Christmas($)), Disney and the Goofy Challenge will just have to wait! Plus, I felt a little guilty about leaving the kids at home in November for NYC and then heading out of town again in January, especially with the fall recruiting trips for work mixed in. And, we’re looking at a family vacation in December 2012 ($), so Disney 2013 is probably out as well. Oh well, such is life. We’ll do the Goofy Challenge eventually, right? Oh, and since I'm not doing Goofy, I am toying with the idea of switching my Houston entry from the 1/2 to the full....we'll see.

This week operation “Happy Feet” (or foot) is underway. After much frustration about the still-painful-supposed-to- be-healed broken toe, I told the Hubby last week that I was not planning to do any workouts that make the toe hurt for the next week. Well, after my Saturday bike ride, that is. So, this week the workouts have been different –

Monday – P90X-Ab Ripper X
Tuesday- P90X – Shoulders and Arms
Wednesday – P90X – Stretch X (figured this would be good for the pesky tendonitis issue)
Thursday – still undecided…probably another P90X workout combined with Ab Ripper X
Friday – It’s July dammit…I will attempt a short run just to test the toe.

Overall, the toe feels better than ever this week. It does hurt if I tense up my foot and I couldn’t do the planks in the Stretch X routine, but no major pain while walking. I’ve worn regular shoes to work all week – flats, not heels – so that’s a step in the right direction. I am worried that every day I don’t run at this point is jeopardizing my chance for a PR in NYC.

I am joining Out Rival Racing’s marathon training program ($) that begins on July 18, so hopefully by then I will be ready to go and get some inspiration from the speedy folks in the group!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Weekend Re-Cap

The hubby and I both had the day off on Friday. I had some errands and family stuff to tend to, but once that was done we took the kids to see Cars 2. We’re big fans of the 1st Cars movies, so we were looking forward to the sequel. It was a cute movie – it had a much more complex plot than the 1st movie, was longer and focused more on Mater. There was some violence that I’ve heard parents complain about – yes, the bad guys had a ray gun that could blow up some of the race cars and the bad guys did capture the good guys – but in the end, the good guys won. I am sure we’ll eventually buy the dvd and be forced to watch this over and over and over and over…

I started Saturday off with a 43-mile bike ride with tri-buddies, Jen and Kelly. It turned out to be a great ride – a little warm and humid, but overall we all felt strong the entire ride and felt as if we could do 10 more miles! But, we’re starting to realize that riding the flat roads with protection from the wind (thanks to all the trees) is not doing us any favors. Kelly is training for next year’s IMTX race and that course does have some rolling hills and very little protection from the winds that we often have here in the Spring. So, in the coming weeks we will be alternating our rides between the more open roads and our nice little “comfort zone” rides. However, it might be wise to cut back the mileage a bit the 1st week just to get acclimated….we’ll see! I spent the rest of the day cleaning out the kid’s closets as well as my side of our his / her closet. I am an organization nut, very Type A, but I just haven’t had time to dedicate to getting organized in a long, long time, so this was very long overdue! This is just the beginning of my “get ridiculously organized” project going on at home.

Sunday was a rest day, but I spent the day finishing up the closets and pulling weeds in our flowerbeds. Exciting, huh?

Also, I have changed my plans for some of the races on my Calendar. I had to re-evaluate a few things thanks to my stupid broken toe (maybe I should just refer to it as SBT?). I will not be racing Shadow Creek Ranch Tri in July. I only have 3 weeks to train and I don’t think that’s enough time to make significant progress with my running after being out for 6 weeks. CB&I was such an awesome race with a big PR, I don’t want to go into Shadow Creek underprepared. Instead, I will be riding the Katy Flatlands bike ride. I’m undecided on the distance, but I am thinking something in the 50 – 60 mile range. This will only be my 2nd organized bike ride…my 1st was Tour de Pink back in 2008.

Finally, I decided to register for the Houston ½ Marathon lottery. Probably not the smartest move, since there’s a very good chance I will be doing the Goofy Challenge the weekend before…but, I registered with a group of friends and figured I’d just have fun with the race and not really race for time. Kind of a waste of a race, but at least I’ll be among friends! The good news - we found out Monday that our group did make it in! The bad news – my hubby, who registered for the lotto solo, did not make it in. Stupid lotto!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Spin Class

Went to spin class yesterday. It was an interesting combo of riding and free weights.

Yes, I said free weights.

We would ride hard - jumps, power surges and hills. Then we'd coast "downhill" and pick up our weights and do some curls or other arm exercises. It was different, but worked out well since I hadn't done strength training yet this week.

After work, I did Ab Ripper X. I am trying to make sure I get this workout in at least 2x per week to strengthen my's been feeling a bit, um soft, since I stopped running. I will do this workout again on Friday.

Well, that's it for today. Other than the workouts...I got nuthin'.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lunchtime PSA & a Swim

I do try to eat healthy...thanks to working with an awesome nutritionist after having the Munchkin, I learned to watch more than just calories and fat. Now, I watch protein, sugar and fiber. I try not to eat as much processed food, watch the high-fructose corn syrup, etc. But for lunch, sometimes it's just easier to pop one of those Lean Cuisines in the nuker. Yesterday I tried this one:

Major lunchtime FAIL. I love Thai and that yummy (but fattening) peanut sauce, so I thought why not give it a try? I heated it up in the microwave at work. It smelled great and didn't look terrible. See...

Unfortunately, it was nasty. So, just in case you are also a lunchtime nuker like me, steer clear of this one!

As for workouts, I did head to the pool after work and managed to swim 1,700 yds. Most of this workout was just swimming. I did do some endurance drills and try to focus on my form, but other than that it was just swimming and swimming. Since I didn't swim at all last week, it felt terrific to get back into the pool. That's the thing about swimming - it's a pain to drive to the gym and miss out on family time, but once I'm there in the pool I really, really enjoy it!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

5 days and counting...

I have 5 days until I have reached the 6 week mark after the lovely toe incident. 5 days until I can run again!!! I am a little nervous though. I won't lie - the toe still hurts. I tried to wear normal shoes to work last week - flats, not heels though - and my toe hurt like heck by noon.

I know that I am not "staying off my foot" as much as the doc might like. Hell, I work downtown! I have to walk to and from the bus stop, I have to walk 3 blocks to get lunch, I have to walk to other people's offices, not to mention that I have two small kids to chase around. I have to walk 10 miles in the snow, get the idea.

So, here's to hoping that I can run again with minimal pain. Here's to hoping my endurance isn't completely gone - swimming, biking and strength training can only do so much. Here's to hoping that ramping up the mileage again won't be too horrible...okay, that one's wishful thinking because it is Houston and it is summer! Here's to hoping that I can train hard for Bridgeland and have another pace PR! Here's to hoping that I am ready to train for NYC!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011


How does Monday get here so quickly?

We had a great weekend!

Friday after work, I spent some time with the kiddos - we headed to the mall for our tradition of the "three C's" - cuts (as in hair), cookies and carousel. We also headed to the Disney store, which is always dangerous. Usually, it's the Kiddo who wants to buy something, but this time it was the Munchkin who wanted everything in the store. Thank you Disney for marketing the new Cars movie so well!

Here's the Munchkin getting "tickled" by the trimmers.

Here's the kiddo after her cut!

Saturday, we met some of our favorite friends at the beach and had a great time making sand castles and playing in the water. There were actually waves and I really wanted to take advantage of the conditions and get in a little surfing, but I was afraid of making the stupid broken toe worse and decided against it.

I started Sunday with a short bike ride. My friend, Jen, met me for a ride but first we had to change a flat. I am okay with the front tire, but wasn't sure I could take the back tire off without messing something up. Luckily, the Hubby came to our rescue! He had the new tube on in no time...much fast than if we would have done it. But then, about 7 miles into our ride Jen started to feel sick, so we went back to home base. I managed to get in a few more miles after she was safely on her way home and ended with a 20-mile ride. Afterwards, we took the Hubby and my Dad out to lunch, then spent the rest of the day hanging out at home.

Hope everyone out there had a great weekend and all the Dads had a great Father's Day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Quickie Pre-Work Post

Just a quick post before I get the kiddos up and we head out the door. I worked out! It wasn't the most successful attempt, but it was a workout. Two of them. I think my body is still recovering from the strep, because both workouts felt more difficult than usual.

Thursday, 6/16 - Spin Class
For the first time in over a month, I made it to lunchtime spin class. It was tough - maybe due to me 1) missing class for so long, 2) getting over strep throat, or 3) I just suck - maybe it was a combination of all three.

Friday, 6/17 - P90X Shoulders and Arms
Again, this felt much more difficult than it usually does. But it's still my favorite P90X workout.

I was planning to swim this afternoon after work and again in the morning, but I am thinking of just resting the rest of the day and again tomorrow. My throat still hurts a little, ugh. I am hoping I feel good enough on Sunday for 40 miles on the bike...we'll see! We're heading to the beach tomorrow for the 1st time this summer...can't wait!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Even the Kiddo called me grumpy the other day. Between having strep and the stupid toe, I had not had a proper workout in almost 3 days.

Yes, I am grumpy.

I’ve also been grumpy, because DH and I have been extremely indecisive about whether or not we’re running Disney in January. I am probably the most indecisive person around, but at the same time, I hate hanging in the balance and not knowing what we’re doing. Actually, I know that I want to do it, but I have yet to get the hubby to decide…and he’s the one who came up with this idea in the first place. If we do decide to go, I will do the Goofy Challenge and he will do either the half or the full (or maybe even Goofy as well).

I guess this indecisiveness makes me grumpy because I am the family’s CFO…I need to know how to plan! There’s a lot going on between now and Disney – NYC Marathon trip, Kiddo’s birthday, Christmas, etc. And those race entry fees aren’t cheap! Plus there’s a little guilt in knowing that we’re going to NYC sans kids and would go to Orlando sans kids 2 months later (due to budget constraints). I know it sounds sacrilegious to go to Disney without the kids, but we’re not really planning to “do Disney”. We’d arrive early Friday and come home Monday with a race on Sat (the ½ marathon) and then again on Sunday (the full). We figure we’re really not there to ride rides and meet Mickey, you know? But still…the kids might not take it very well. Decisions, decisions.

I am also grumpy, because I had this brilliant plan to work on increasing distance through the months of May and June, so that when NYC training really got started in July, I would already be used to running 10-15 miles in the summer heat and gradually increasing the mileage wouldn’t seem quite so tough. Instead, I will be rebuilding my base thanks to 6 weeks of absolutely no running. Grrr…. I know rebuilding is not as bad as starting from scratch, but still…

Luckily, I am over the strep and will be working out today. My kids and hubby are thankful for that.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dear 16 Year Old Me

I love this video. Please watch it.

If you have trouble viewing this, click here...I had trouble with the link.

As a girl who grew up on the Gulf coast, I went to the beach multiple times every year. I made sandcastles, collected shells and sand dollars, loved the sand between my toes and the sound of the waves. I even learned to surf! And, I had probably one bad sunburn every year. As an adult, this scares me...after all, the damage you do to your skin growing up can come back to haunt you later. I have several friends and acquaintances who have been diagnosed with skin cancer in their 20's and 30's. Fortunately, they caught it early.

Scary stuff.

And yet, I still feel like I look better with some sun. I still long for that "glow" in the summer and hate seeing the scars and spider veins on my pasty legs in the winter. And while I've grown more diligent with the sunscreen as I grow older, I find myself wanting "a little sun" every year. However, I am also vain and don't want more sun damage, which is the main reason I use sunscreen now - wrinkles!

Skin cancer is preventable. Use sunscreen.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Last night, I went to bed thinking that I was feeling better. Really, it was just the Advil kicking in. I woke up around 1 am, feeling all achey and warm again. I got up and took my temp - 101.2! I can't remember the last time I had a fever. When I woke up again at my normal time, I was still achey and my temp was somewhere between 101.5 and 102.7, depending on which thermometer I used. Not good! I felt achey, weak and well, like crap!

I decided that I better call the doc to schedule an appointment and let work know that I would not be coming in. Ugh, I hate being sick! When I explained all my symptoms to the dr, she almost immediately suggested a strep test. I have never had strep before. Sure enough, I tested positive and was given a Rx for antibiotics.

We'll see what happens. I just hope I don't give this crap to the Hubby and kids! And to be at home all day and not feel like doing anything productive is just tough. I feel like I should be cleaning or organizing or something...instead, I caught up on episodes of "So You Think You Can Dance." I guess that was semi-productive, huh?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Swim, bike, poo

Friday, 6/10 - Swim
I did end up having a great swim on Friday, although not as long as I originally planned. The Hubby met me at the gym and we signed him up! Now, he has a place to swim, too. He was relying on the neighborhood pool, but since there are no lap swim times, it was too difficult trying to swim and dodge kids at the same time. I learned the same lesson 2 years ago when I was training for my first tri...So, we were able to swim together, which was nice.

Originally, the Hubby wanted to register for the Texas State Triathlon for his first tri - it's close to home and a pool swim - not a bad combo for a first timer. But, we just found out that registration is full. Doh! So, he decided to register for Bridgeland, which is also more than likely going to be my next tri.

It's certainly going to be tricky trying to plan out a training schedule for both of if it wasn't hard enough with just one of us training for triathlons!

Saturday, 6/11 - Bike, 30 miles
Met up with Jenn and Kelly again for a long bike ride. It felt great to get beyond those 20-milers! And, the toe didn't even start to bother me until about mile 20. After the bike ride, it was a busy day - we had errands to run, the Kiddo had a birthday party and then we were going to our cousin's dance recital across town...we weren't home again until 10:30 pm!

Sunday, 6/12 - Swim and Ab Ripper X Rest day
Okay, so today ended up being a total bust...I felt like poo. Had a sore throat, achey shoulders, neck and back, headache, fever, and chills. Not good. The hubby thought the sore neck and shoulders were because of my bike ride the day before, but after seeing my temp, we decided that might not be the case. After church, I just took it easy all day and even took a nap...something I am not used to doing!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Playing Catch Up - The week in review

Well, even with the broken toe I am getting in some workouts...last week was a busy one at work and I only managed to get in 1 workout during the week. One. A swim. I can't remember the last time I only worked out once during the week!

Anywho, I did finally see a doctor...more because even without the running, I am still having the tendonitis issues. He confirmed (via x-ray) that the toe is indeed broken, duh. What he also told me is that it takes 6 weeks for a bone to heal. He said that my toe will probably stop hurting in another week or so, but whatever I do - DO NOT RUN! Otherwise, I could risk making the break worse or just slowing the healing process. Since I would like to get NYC training in high gear in July, I will follow his advice. Also, I cannot water jog or use the elliptical...mainly because of the movement of the foot. Ugh! Oh, and I need more stretching to alleviate the tendonitis issue. And I naively thought I would be out running within a couple of weeks. Oy!

So, here are my workouts for the week:

Sat, 6/4 - 22 mile bike ride
Met up with tri/running buddies, Jenn and Kelly, for a ride in a nearby neighborhood. It's an "estate community", so there are lots of gorgeous homes to look at and lots of great roads with minimal traffic. The toe did hurt the entire time, but not so bad that I had to stop. Just like last week, the worst part was unclipping.

Sunday, 6/5 - 1,000 yd swim
The hubby is succumbing to peer pressure and has decided to train for a tri. This means that we have to each fit in a workout on weekend mornings...I cut my swim short, so that we both had time to swim before church. Went to the neighborhood pool, which is a nice change from swimming indoors at the gym!

Monday, 6/6 - No workout
Trying to remember what happened here and why my slacker self didn't work out at all???

Tuesday, 6/7 - P90X - Shoulders and Arms (am) and Ab Ripper X (pm)
My favorite of the P90X workouts. It's funny how fast you can get through P90X when you fast forward through all the talking! The kids and I did Ab Ripper X after school/ was their idea, I swear! I was planning to wait until they were in bed to workout, but the Munchkin saw me in my workout clothes and insisted on working out with me. The Kiddo joined in, and heck, even our dog (Jake) sat right in the middle of the rug between the 3 of us.

Wednesday, 6/8 - 1,700 yd swim
Better, longer swim than Sunday. I did ladders and in my set of 500 I alternated between 50s fast / slow.

Thursday, 6/9 - P90X - Arms and Back (am) and Ab Ripper X (pm)
This workout is nothing but push-ups and pull-ups! And, my arms were still feeling Tuesday's workout. I don't know why, but I actually kind of like push-ups. Pull-ups, not so much. After work, I did Ab Ripper X....I love that workout, but my abs were still sore from Tuesday's workout!

Friday, 6/10 - Swim
I am going to stop by the gym after work and get an hour-long swim done. Hey, at least with the injury, I am going to become a stronger swimmer!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

That which we manifest is before us...

I am in the process of reading The Art of Racing in the Rain. It's an excellent read and I highly recommend it. I often find myself thinking back to what I've read and the life lessons in this book. I may write more about the book once I've finished reading it, but for now this is the quote that stands out to me the most:

That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves.

I love this quote, I think it's beautiful and so true...

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Ironman Texas

Two weeks ago The Woodlands hosted the inaugural Ironman Texas. Talk about exciting! I live 10 minutes from the start and finish of the race, so naturally I had to participate in some way. So, I volunteered!

I really wanted to help out during the week and on race day, but my work schedule didn’t allow for it. I thought about using a PTO day or two, but things are crazy and I didn’t want to be out of the office. So, I opted to help out only on race day. My assignment was aid station #9 and our goal was to keep the athletes properly hydrated and give fuel like oranges and pretzels when needed. We were originally supposed to report for duty at 10:30 am, but that changed to 11:30 am since runners weren’t expected to hit the run portion of the race until at least noon. I met up with tri-buddy, Kelly, and one of her teammates, Shannon, at a local restaurant and we talked about what else? Triathlons!

When we made it to the aid station, we helped set up a variety of things:

Soda (flat)
Power Bar Perform (sports drink)
Cheese balls (you know, the puffy snack kind…kinda strange, but whatever!)
Gummi Bears
Potato chips
Power Bar gels
Power Bars (which we sliced into about 5 pieces to hand out)
Oranges (sliced)
Bananas (sliced)

Once we were all set up, we had a little time to hang out. This was perfect, because the men leading on the bike were about to come in! Chris Lieto was 1st off the bike:

It was exciting stuff watching the pros dismount their bikes and then head out on the run! Most of them took water, but there were a few who wanted Perform and soda. At some point, we watched the leaders pass a 2nd time and were surprised that we never saw Chris Lieto again. Later, we heard that he had some Achilles issues and pulled out of the race. But it was awesome seeing some of the pros run by with the leaders were escorted by bikes.
Here's the aid station I worked at - can you tell everyone is ready to help? In fact, the question we constantly asked - "What do you need?".

Here's Scotland's Catriona Morrison heading out on the run - she went on to win the women's race:

Here's Kelly and me ready to help:

My shift ended at 2:30, so Kelly and I headed over to the finish line where it was just a matter of minutes before the pros would be finishing up. Seeing the pros finish was amazing – Spain's Eneko Llanos came in first with a time of 8:09 and some change. Terry O’Donnell from the US came in 2nd and carried an American flag down the chute. The crowds went wild and the energy at the finish line was incredible.

Next, I had to head home for a few hours for a neighborhood block party. When I returned to the race, I saw a facebook post that said one of my blogger buddies, Jessica, was about 3 miles from the finish. I headed over to watch and saw quite a few folks I recognized from the local training groups finishing up. To me, this was so much more exciting – seeing “normal” people finishing the race and hearing Mike Reilly say, “John Smith – YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!”

After watching Jessica finish up, I headed over to the aid station again. The vibe I felt on the route, was much different than the one over at the finish line. In fact, I told my hubby that it seemed more like a war zone. I saw one guy stop on the side of the road to empty his stomach (yuck, but it does happen!), another guy was stretching at the curb and lots of people were doing what I call the “survival shuffle”, where you are tired and just putting one foot in front of the other in an effort to just finish. But hey, an Ironman ain't easy, right?

At the aid station, there were lots of requests for soda and water. The calls for ice were rare, as were the requests for gels and perform. I think by this point, most folks were all gel-ed out. We did have a few requests for broth, which must have been added to the aid station later in the day. What I found amazing is how no matter how exhausted the athletes appeared to be, they were all so appreciative of our support. Many said thanks and a lot said “Thanks so much for volunteering out here”. I wanted to tell them thanks – thanks for being such an inspiration. We gave lots of encouragement – lots of shouts of “way to go”, “stay strong”, and lots of clapping…by the end of the night my voice was getting a little raspy.

My shift ended at 11:30, so we (Kelly, Melissa and I) headed over to the finish line again. This was truly inspiring! It was great to see the folks we had just seen 2 or 3 times at the aid station finishing the race. Some had huge smiles, some were crying and many were running as fast as they could. Some folks gave the crowd high fives, one man did the airplane arms and one practically skipped down the chute. The music was blaring, the crowd was dancing and slapping the sponsor signs that line the chute. The air was noisy and full of energy…it was amazing! Finally, a guy finished with about 2 minutes left on the clock. We anxiously awaited the final finisher…..

And nothing. The clock hit 17:00:00. That was it. Sorta anti-climatic.

About 7 minutes later, as spectators were beginning to leave, we could hear the crowds grow louder. There was an athlete coming! Okay, so it was after the 17 hour cut-off, but it was still exciting. The crowd went wild and the guy had a huge smile on his face. Now that was the ending we were hoping for!

After the race, I found my fellow blogger and friend, Vic. He had a tough race with some back issues, but still did an awesome job! As we were leaving we stopped to talk to some folks for a minute and saw a bike headlight coming toward us….it was another athlete! The man on the bike in front of the woman told us that her name was Ali. Next, Ali came by running at a pretty good clip. Behind her were 6 medical guys on bikes – they were lined up in 3 rows of 2. It was pretty cool to see. We cheered for her and as she made her way around the circle and to the finish line, we ran next to her (from behind the barracades of course) and shouted cheers along the way. She finished the distance and even received a medal….Ali, you may not have made the cut-off, but to those of us who were out there – YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!!!!!!

Talk about the perfect ending to an awesome day! AMAZING!