Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's Good to See you, Old Friend

My computer's still broke. But luckily, Shay's home for winter break, so I can use hers.

Much has been happening around here. We are getting ready for Christmas! The tree is up! Some shopping is complete, but there's more to do. Kevin came up with an awesome idea for the kids! So, I put him in charge of shopping for it!

It's one of those years where I have a hundred ideas for Shayna, about 20 for Kenz, and I'm struggling to think of things for Jack. The things he shows me in the stores are all incredibly obnoxious talking things. Like the ride-on Lightning McQueen trike that says, "Get outta my way!" When you start to roll forward. It's rude and bossy, and I don't like it.
I tried to convince Kevin that what Jack really needs, is a dog of his own. Kev disagreed. Here's a picture of Jack and Cam to make my case!

Kenzie had a birthday! She's 7 now! It amazes me how much she's grown in the past 7 years. I'm so proud of my smart, strong, beautiful (don't tell her I said that.)little girl.

Training: It hasn't been happening much in the past couple of weeks. I caught a nasty cold. It's not a big deal, except that by 8PM I'm ready for bed, and can't imagine hopping on the bike or heading to the Y for a run. I did join a new mentor group on BT, and I'm hoping that gets me moving once I start to feel bettter.

That's a brief summary. I'll try to be a better blogger than I have been for the past month.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

This whole broken computer thing is a real PITA.
Shayna's been home and has graciously let us use her laptop while she's home for the holiday, but she goes back to school today.

Thanksgiving turned out to be much better than I anticipated (lots of potential family drama) but luckily, it went well. The highlight of the day might have been when my Dad announced to all 15 people present that he couldn't believe Kevin had actually married me. It was one of those times in my life when all I could do was laugh because it was so unbelievable. I think what he was really saying was that he couldn't believe they would be so lucky as to have Kevin for a Son in Law, and that he couldn't believe any one would marry me because I'm so "independent and stubborn" (his words). I take all of those things as compliments, but the way he presented it was pretty comical.

Friday evening 2 of Kevin's siblings and their families came over for dinner and much laughter. His parents stopped in to say hi also. It was great for so many of our nieces and nephews to get together. The age range is from 19 to 3, and I love that they all just have fun together. The teenage girls don't try to go hide in Shayna's room and exclude the middle school and elementary kids.
Here are my three on Friday Night:

And the holiday season is now in full swing!

I've managed to get some running in, I just have to make it a priority for myself, because no one else is going to say, "Hey Heid, why don't you go take a 40 minute run."

On that note, I'm off to the gym!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Few Quick Notes

My home computer has caught it's own version of H1N1, and is completely out of commission at this time. Booo!
So, just a few quick notes from me today.

First, the Essential Triathlon Swimming video did arrive. Jack and I have been watching it diligently, as I prepare to get in the pool and try some of the drills soon. Jack is enthralled with this video! Stay tuned for a full post on this.

Second, the 18th was my Mom's birthday! Happy Birthday Mom! A full post is coming on this too, but I want photos. In the meantime, check out my Sister's post honoring our Mom.

Finally, I have committed to a Winter Workout Challenge. It's the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge!I found this through 2 blogs that I've been following for a couple of months now.
I think that both Mel and Runninglaur are taking part in the challenge.
Sorry, for the vague post. I hope to get to the library for some computer time this weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Help is on the Way!

I need help with my swimming.Desperately.
I learned to swim as a kid, at the town lake. The lessons were free to all town residents. Now don't get me wrong. I am eternally thankful that my Mom took the time to bring me to these lessons every summer. She sat on the cold beach with all the other Mom's and watched us learn to swim, year after year. This was even more special, given the fact that my Mom doesn't swim, and I don't think she likes lakes or pools. I'm also thankful that this was a completely fun, noncompetitive environment, because I was able to develop my love of water and swimming without any stress.
But, with all that being said, the fact remains that I have zero technique. In the past 2 years, I've taught myself a few of the basics. Like, bi-lateral breathing and to keep my head and shoulders down. But truly, I'm clueless.

So, when I saw a post on Beginner Triathlete, looking for people to try this out, I jumped at the chance. I emailed Kevin Koskella of Tri Swim Coach, and told him I'm interested in trying his program. He agreed, and now I'm waitng (anxiously)for the DVD to arrive!Lord knows, I need all the help I can get!

In other news, I ran 4 miles outside today! In shorts and a t-shirt! This is an amazing thing here in upstate NY on November 15!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Week in Review

In the Tri world:
I got in 2 runs this week. My pace is picking up, and I feel like I can consistently go longer at a faster pace. I feel like a 10 minute mile is within grasp, for the first time in 7 years! That is exciting for me!
I broke down and put the bike on the trainer last night. Jack loves when I ride the trainer. He stands by and watches me. Plus, he's the best support crew I have. He cheers me on, and then he takes a towel and dries the sweat as it hits the ground.
It's going to be a long winter, so I went to ebay and bid on season 3 of Gilmore Girls. GG's is such a guilty pleasure for me. I started watching the show with Shayna when it first came out, and it struck a chord with me. Hopefully, Season 3will get me through a month or 2 on the trainer.
I'm not sure why I've been avoiding the pool, but I have. The goal this week is to get in the water at least once. We'll see if I make it.

In other news, Jack and Shayna are both feeling better. But Kenz is sick now. She has been spiking fevers since last night, and we are planning to keep her home tomorrow. Let's hope she feels better soon.

Bonus: Picture of the week:

This is my Great Uncle Pete, and his wife, Aunt Nete. Shayna took this picture on Saturday, at Uncle Pete's 90th birthday party.
I want to be them!

Truly, I don't think it's possible to be their age, and not be beautiful.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Fun

Shayna was home with us for the week before Halloween. Although she was home because she was pretty sick, we were still able to do a few Halloween activities. The kids were thrilled to have her here for an extended stay! She worked on Halloween costumes with Mack. And they did such a great job on the sword, that Mack has now refused to use it as part of her costume. She doesn't want to take any chances that it will get ruined.

We started the week with some pumpkin carving.

Unfortunately, Shayna had to return to school the day before Halloween. So, she didn't get to join us for the trick or treating fun. That was really okay, because Halloween was rainy and cold, so Trick or Treating was cut quite short.
Jack changed his mind daily about what he would be. We have several superhero costumes that I've picked up on clearance in the past few years, to have as dress up clothes.He ran the gamut from firefighter, to police officer, Batman and Spider man. On Halloween morning he decided on Superman. Complete with the fake muscles and the cape.
Here he is, showing off his muscles. Of course, "Favorite Blankie" is never far from Jack's reach.

On the day of Halloween, Mack was a pirate. But the costume was not very interesting, since she wouldn't carry the sword, or wear the bandanna on her head. Luckily, we also had plans for a Halloween festival on Sunday in Saratoga. Sunday morning I did my usual trip to Target, and while there found that all Halloween costumes were 50% off. I picked up a Ninja costume for $5. She loved it, and here she is:

Sorry for the blurriness on this one. But it's pretty cute anyway.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

3rd run in a week!

Or maybe I could count it as 4?

I did the race on Sunday.
Hit the treadmill on Thursday for 30 minutes (plus 10 of walking)
Today, I went out for a long run. Unfortunately, I think I had too much chocolate before heading out the door. Had to walk after 20 minutes of running. So, I walked for about 10 minutes, then ran another 30. That makes today at total of 50 minutes, in 2 separate runs (kinda).

I don't know...What's the general consensus? Is a 10 minute walk break enough to qualify it as 2 runs? Or does it count as one long run?

Along with that, I've decided to take today's route out of the rotation for a while. It's the route I hurt my foot on several years ago, and every time I run it, I have at least one close call with a driver pulling out of a side street without even looking. Today, I almost got knocked down by a FedEx truck, who saw me but didn't want to let me go. Even though I was well into the cross walk by the time he pulled up to it. I've decided that this route is too stressful for me. Oh well. Too bad for me, since it has some nice little hills.

Next week- I'm shooting for 4 runs!
Here's the plan:
Sunday- 30 minutes
Tuesday- treadmill 45 minutes
Thursday- 40 minutes
Saturday- 50 minutes

I have no real rhyme or reason for the times I've chosen on each day. So, if there are any suggestions for a better way to do it, that would be great!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Heading Toward Healthy!

Good news! Jack has his cast off! It looks like he had a hairline fracture in the growth plate of his knee. The Dr. feels it's healed. Jack is still limping, but I'm todl that is normal. Being me, I am worried that it hasn't really healed. So, I'm keeping a close eye on him.

More good news! Shayna is also almost all better! She went back to the ENT today and was cleared to return to school. Since my parents are awesome, they are going to drive her down to NP tomorrow. That way, she doesn't have to be on the bus, and walk up to campus from downtown.

Running news: I managed to get myself to the Y tonight and hit the treadmill. Of course, when I got there, I realized that I didn't have my orthotics with me. This caused a moment of panic for me. Please understand, these are custom made orthotics that I got after I ruptured the tendon in my foot. They are a life saver for me, and the only reason I was able to return to running. I took a deep breath and thought about my options. Going back home wasn't an option. Hitting the bike would work, but I hate the seats on the gym bikes. My current sneakers are brand new, so they haven't conformed to the shape of the orthotic yet. Hmmm- do I dare try to run?


I cut my planned workout down, just to be safe. Instead of 45 minutes with a 5 minute walk, I did 10 minutes of walking with 30 minutes of running. I'm glad I took the chance, because so far my foot feels okay.

So, that's 2 runs done this week! My goal is to either do one bike and one run, or two more runs. We'll see how that works out.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Capital Region Special Surgery Race for Hope

I ran this 5k this morning.
It was a first annual, with a starting line about 3 miles from my home.

First, the good things: I got up and did it!
I didn't walk. Not even 1 step of it!
I passed a few people. That is a first for me. Usually, I'm the one being left in the dust. Don't get me wrong- obviously a few people passed me too. But still..

The challenges:
This race started with one mile uphill climb. I've never entered a race with an uphill start, so I didn't know what to expect. It wasn't easy- that's all I'm gonna say.
My legs have not fully recovered from Thursdays Tri. I know. For those of you who are hard core triathlete's out there- a 5k is a little warm up. For me, it's a workout.
Finally; I spent most of last night in the ER with Shayna. She has tonsillitis that she's been on antibiotics for since Weds. But, last night around 9 o'clock she came to me and said she was having a hard time breathing. Of course, Kevin was at a gig. But, luckily I have an awesome mother in law who came over and stayed with Mack and Jack.
Shayna's tonsils had swollen to dangerous size, and she required IV steroids/anti-inflammatory meds. After blood work, a CAT scan, and some IV meds, her tonsils went down to a more normal size. We were able to come home. I rolled into bed at about 4 AM!
So, given all of that, I'm thinking that getting up at 7:30 to walk the dog and go to the run, is pretty darn impressive! NO PR- but that's okay.
Here's the course:

I would do it again next year!

Friday, October 23, 2009

2nd Annual Home Tri! Finally!

I finally was able to run the "2nd Annual Home Tri" yesterday!
The weather was perfect! It was an unseasonably warm 70 degrees out! Due to early sunset time here, I chose to cut the bike course a little short.

Here is a "Cliff Notes" grid of my times, comparing them to last years race:

Oct 22, 2009
Swim Distance: 500 yrds
Time: 14:02
Swim Pace 2:49 (mins/100 yrds)

Bike Distance: 11.50 miles
Time: 42:43 mins
Pace: 16:15 mph

Run 5K: Time: 34:54 mins
Pace: 11:16 mins per mile

In contrast to the Sept 28, 2008 Home Tri:

Swim Distance: 600yards
Time: 16:45
Pace: 2:47 mins/100 yards

Bike Distance: 15.40 miles
Time: 62 mins
PAce: 14:22 mph

Run 5K:
Time: 38 mins
Pace: 12:26 mins per mile.

First, I should point out that I did shorten the swim by 100yards. I haven't been in the pool much, and my neck is still tender, so I opted not to push it. Given those 2 issues, I'm satisfied that I only lost 2 seconds on my splits.

The bike portion was fantastic! The weather was perfect and the sky was gorgeous! Plus, I've hardly been on the bike lately, so I was really happy to be out there. The downside to this course is that much of it is on a major road, and I was racing during rush hour traffic. It did slow me down a little, but not much. I cut 4 miles off last years course for safety reasons, as it was getting dark out pretty fast. Increasing my pace from 14:22 to 16:15 is pretty impressive!

The run: This was the same exact out and back course that we did last year. There is really only one hill, that is about 1/2 a mile long. By the time I got to the run, it was dusk, and just beautiful out! The leaves were crunching under my feet, and I almost forgot about the pain at one point! My goal was to finish the run in under 36 minutes. I hit 34:54! So, I beat my goal by more than a minute! And beat last years run time by just over 3 minutes!

I really love doing this Home Tri! Next year, I might have to hit Cafe Press and make a T-shirt for myself :).

If any one else joined me, I'd love to hear a race report.
Thanks to my Aunt, who made a donation to the "Brain, Head and Neck Cancer Center" here in Albany, to show her support for my efforts!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

First, Jack seems to be doing okay with his cast. He's up and running, and not really letting him slow him down much. We go back next week for the new x-rays.

Second, the Home Tri was postponed. First, due to yucky weather. Then, due to Jack's leg. I just could not leave him for 2 hours this weekend. He really requires significant attention. Not, because he asks for it: More because he doesn't ask. He seems to be completely oblivious to the fact that he can not safely go up and down stairs with out help. I guess the silver lining to the postponement is that the weather is supposed to be much nicer tomorrow, which is when I will actually run the race.

Now, on to the issue of training. It has fallen into the category of "Non issue" It just hasn't been happening. In an effort to be more accountable, I am going to post my workouts here on the blog for a while. So, if you don't see any running minutes for a couple of days in a row- shout at me. Please. I need it.

Here we go:
Last night- treadmill run at the Y. 5k in 34:17. I don't like running in the evening. Actually, my digestive track doesn't like it. I had to slow down a few times, so that I wouldn't lose lunch. I also did 10 minutes of intervals. But, didn't keep track of times.
W-up 5 min walk
5k- 34:17
Intervals- 10 minutes (fastest pace was 9 min mile)
cool down- 5 min walk.

That's it. And, I;m serious about needing some accountability right now. Feel free to give me an earful, if I'm not running over the next couple of weeks..

Friday, October 16, 2009

Nature vs. Nurture?

Jack fractured his leg. Possibly in 2 places. We have no idea how or when this happened. All we know is that yesterday morning, when he woke up he couldn't put any weight on the leg at all. He seemed fine when he went to bed the night before.

How does that happen?

We know he fell on the hike this past Sunday. But all the bruises and cuts are on the opposite leg. We can't think of any other time in the past week that he really hurt himself. We went to the playground on Weds night. He ran and played and never complained of being hurt. He was cranky when we came home, but I thought it was because he was hungry.

Then yesterday morning he got up, took about 5 steps, and that was it. That was all he could do. I took him to the orthopedist. They feel he fractured the growth plate in his knee, and possibly his tibia also. Xrays were negative, but apparently that is common with "toddler fractures"

I've been trying to figure out how this could have happened. What did we miss? When did it happen?

Then, I started thinking about the whole nature vs. nurture discussion. Our family has a long standing history of "tough guys". My Dad, is the quintessential "tough guy" when it comes to injuries. Several years ago he shattered his hip. He spent the night at home before he was willing to go to the hospital the next day.

When I was a teenager, I fell off my bike and hurt my shoulder. I never told my parents, because I didn't want to go to the Dr. Years later, when I was x-rayed for something else, the Dr informed me that I had broken my collar bone at some point in my life. I assume it was from that fall.

Before we went to the Dr, Jack kept trying to convince me that he was all better, and didn't need to go. He even tried to walk a step to prove the point. It didn't work.
Then at the Dr's Jack didn't complain once. He just sat through the exam, the x-rays, and the casting with his jaw clenched and a look of determination on his face. How does a three year old do that?
Is that Nurture: Something Kevin and I and society have instilled in him at such an early age? Or, is that Nature: some genetic link passed from my Dad to me, to Jack?

It's always an intriguing question to me.
I don't think we'll ever know for sure how or when he broke his leg. For now, we'll be thankful for the quality care he received yesterday, and that he seems to be on the mend.

Monday, October 12, 2009

2 Hikes in 2 Weekends

I love fall in the Adirondacks! I love being close enough to make day trips there. And, I love hiking in the Adirondacks-especially in the fall. For the past 2 weekends, I took advantage of the weather, and hiked.
On the first weekend, I went hiking with my friends, LC and Ryder. This was a birthday celebration for Ryder, and it has become an annual tradition. I feel so fortunate to be friends with these two smart and strong women. We've known each other our whole adult lives, and have seen each other through many life events. It's great to spend a day together, catching up and just talking about whatever comes to mind.
Here we are, at the summit of Buck Mountain.

The cool thing about this hike was that, at the summit, we were above the cloud line. So, looking down on Lake George, all you could see was clouds.

A few weeks ago, I was in Lake George with the fam. Kenz looked up at one of the mountains, and said, "Someday can you take me to the top of a mountain, Mom?" Well, that was all it took. I really love hiking, and rarely make time to do enough of it. When Shayna was younger, we used to go a couple of times a year. Those are some great memories for me. I told Kenz some of those stories, and we decided to make a plan to go hiking.
That led to yesterday's adventure. We went to Shelving Rock Mountain. The original plan was to hike Sleeping Beauty, and have Jack spend the day at my parents, but Kenz really wanted him to join us, so we changed our plans. Shayna came home for the day, and joined us too.
We did some quick online searching and found that Shelving Rock Ridge,seemed to be a trail that almost any one can do. Of course, we ended up on the wrong trail somehow, and did Shelving Rock Mountain, instead of Ridge. It was cold, but sunny.
Here they are at the trailhead.

The hike was 1.7 miles to the summit, all on a switch back old carriage road. The kids had an awesome time, searching for lizards (they found 2), snakes (they found none), and cool mushrooms.
The summit was nice, but not breathtaking.

The kids felt a huge sense of accomplishment, and were really proud of themselves when we reached the summit. On the way down, Jack took a big fall. He banged up his leg and knee, so that Kevin carried him most of the way down.
Mackenzie climbed this really cool rock that she found.

It was a great day! Kenz and Jack both been to the summit of their first mountain. And they made it to the top all on their own!
Of course, all 3 of them fell asleep in the car before we were back on the highway.

Friday, October 9, 2009

3.7 on the treadmill

I'm not a big treadmill fan. But, I deal with it when I have too. And, since I won't run outside in the dark, it becomes a regular feature of my winter workouts.

But I found something that makes it more bearable..."The Biggest Loser". That's right: The girl who NEVER turns the TV on, watched an episode of "Biggest Loser". The comercial breaks bug the heck out of me. Okay, lots of things about the show bugged me. But, watching very overweight people fight so hard to lose weight and be fit, is inspiring. It's hard to justify slowing down the pace, when your watching this show. It's hard to justify "I'll call it a day at a 5k" when these guys are giving it all they've got.

So, it might be a weekly routine, if I can remember when it's on.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Melissa and U

Jack and I spent the day together. I got a little tired of Wiggles videos on youtube, so we found this:

Life is good!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


A month or so ago I wrote about my plan to organize a local 5k as a fund raiser for the non profit organization That I sit on the board of.
"Mindfull Journeys Mentors" is a brand new 501c3 organization. Our mission is to develop a network of peer supports and various mentoring programs for people with Traumatic Brain Injuries.
I did significant leg work in beginning to organize the event. Then, at our September board meeting, I realized that we would not really be ready to host a fall race. Our "Roll Out Event" will not be until sometime in November. This is when we will introduce ourselves to the Brain Injury Community, and begin to gather members.

So, the MJM 5K has been postponed until the Spring of 2010. We, as a board agreed that the first order of business must be the Roll Out.

Stay tuned for the date and event info. If you are here in the area, we'd love to have you join us!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Calling all Triathletes...and "Wannabe's"

Take part in the 2nd Annual Home Tri
When: Saturday Oct 10, 2009.
Distances: See Below
Entry Fee: None (unless you make a donation to a Cancer related Charity)

Hmm. This will be a rambling post. I'm just warning you now. This is a story of several things coming together all at once. And right up front, I want to give credit to my Grandmother, Mark, and Running Laur (whom I've never met, but she put a name to the crazy idea I sort of had last year.)

Where to begin? This idea begins with Mark and my Grandmother.
The second anniversary of Mark's death is just around the corner. His memory continues to inspire me: to do my job well, to remain healthy, to be a good parent, to be a good person. All of these things were important to him.
As I mentioned in my original post, Mark was a great athlete. He encouraged every one he met to be healthy. We often walked together at lunch time. Especially as his disease progressed, and he was unable to walk alone due to balance and memory challenges. His legs were so long, that I had to jog to keep up with his walk.

Grandma Jennie was another amazing force in my life. She died several years ago, when I was in my early 20's. She was a loving Matriarch. Strong to the end. She had many grandchildren, so I rarely had time all alone with her. But one day after she was diagnosed with cancer, I did sneak a little quiet time alone with her. I asked her if she was afraid of dying. She seemed genuinely surprised by the idea. And her response was something like this: of course she wasn't. She never let anything in life stop her before, she certainly wasn't going to let dying get in her way. That was a conversation that has greatly affected who I am today.

Around this time last year, I was training for my first tri The memory of Mark and my Grandmother often kept me going, when I wanted to stop and sit down.

Here is where events start to shape each other: The Tri that I was training for was cancelled because of a Hurricane that blew in that weekend. At the time, I was bitterly disappointed. I had trained all summer, and now it was for nothing. But, with encouragement from my family, we planned the First Annual Home Tri

It was incredible fun! Shortly after that, I was out running and I decided that I would send out an email to my extended family members, proposing a family Tri. The idea at the time (although I didn't call it this) was to set up a Virtual Tri. Similar to Running Laurs virtual 5 mile Fall run. I suggested that we do this in honor of my Grandmother, and instead of paying a race fee, we could make a donation to the cancer society in my Grandmothers name. The responses I received were disappointingly negative. It was one, big fat resounding "You're crazy. Thanks but no thanks."

Well, a year has gone by. I still think of Mark and my Grandmother more than I admit to anyone. And, I'm not ready to let the Tri season end for the year yet. So, I'm putting the idea out there to the blogging world.

So, here is my proposal. To anyone who is reading: A 2nd Annual Home Tri. A virtual race. Last years distances were:
600 yard pool swim
15.4 mile bike ride
5k Run.

These are the distances I will stick with, because I want to do the same course as last year. But, here's the great thing about a virtual race: You can make it your race!
Can't swim? do 200 yards.
No bike? Borrow one, or race as a relay team, letting some one else do the bike leg.
Bad knees that don't like running? WALK!

The date is Oct 10th because Mark passed away on Oct 8, 2007. So, this is the closest weekend. But, if that date doesn't work for you, pick a date between 10/8 and 10/18. Leave a comment, letting me know the distances and date you'll commit to.

Honor some one you know and love, who changed your life forever. If you've never done a Tri, this is about as non threatening as it gets. Plus, you'll definately be first in your age group!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Running Laur's Fall 5K Race Report

Earlier this week, I committed to participating in "Running Laur's 5 miler" -which she graciously also included a 5k distance in.

The idea is that you commit to running one of the distances, within the first week of fall, and then run your race. Site, time and distance all set by each participant.

So, tonight was my 5k. It's the first stand alone 5k I've entered since Teagan's run

I decided to run one of my usual routes, in reverse for this race. Mostly, because I was running during rush hour traffic, and this allowed me to make left hand turns at each intersection.

Here's the course:

Race Report:
Start time: 5:45 PM.
Pre race routine- brushed my teeth. Does any one else out there, brush their teeth before each run? Drank some water. Walked 1/2 a mile to warm up- and took off.It was at least 70' out, and sunny. I felt pretty good. There is a short hill at the beginning of the run, and then maybe 1/2 a mile of a slow incline. Funny, how I never noticed it as a decline when I run this course in the other direction.
The run was fairly uneventful. However, two things happened, just as they would in any other race.
First,I swallowed the necessary bug at about the 1.5 mile mark. YUCK!Too bad for me, there were no water stops on this course. Where the heck were the volunteers when I needed them!
Then, I got passed by 3 or 4 fast guys. I think they were the SUNY CC team. But I can't really be sure of that, since I only saw a streak of purple before they were out of sight.
The rest of the race was quiet. I got into the zone a few times, where I was pretty deep in thought, and wasn't paying attention to much of anything. So, the next thing I knew, I had done another 1/2 mile. That's my favorite part of running, and it rarely happens in a race with 100 people all around me. So, I really appreciated it tonight.

My finish was strong. I had some kick left. I love having a finish line in my driveway! I love having the kids cheering me on. Jack jumping up and down with excitement, shouting, "How was your run Mommy?" and "Running's fun. Right Mommy!"
This was the first time I've ever participated in a virtual race. Thanks Running Laur for organizing it! Jack is right, it is fun!

Finish time: 32:41
Pace: 10:32 per mile.
This is a new PR for me!

Me and Jack after the run.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Wonderful New Goal

I was procrastinating this morning, trying to avoid going for a run before the temp hit 55'. So, of course, I was randomly cruising various blogs. That's when I found this!

A virtual race! It's sort of like the Home Tri. Only a a much bigger scale! So, I signed up. How can I resist a race with no entry fee, and such a non competitive environment!

Go ahead- sign up! You know you want to.

Okay- I'm off to go train for it :)

Friday, September 18, 2009

What now?

The post race glow is wearing off.

Jeez, I'm such a junky!

What the heck am I going to do now?
Train for a 10k? I've never done one.
Train for a faster 5k? I really need one.
Plan for the 2nd annual Home Tri?
Check out my blog on the first annual Home Tri to get a sense of what I'm talking about here.
This would be a pool swim, so I could do it in early October. I like the idea of repeating the course, to get a sense of my improvements over the past year. I mentioned it to Kev, but he didn't seem that enthusiastic. He said," I'm sort of tri'd out right now." GRRR!

The goal is to make a decision by the end of this weekend. Any suggestions?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

DACC First Annual Tri- Race Report

Yesterday, I completed my second Triathlon of the year!

It was the first Annual Duanesburg Area Community Center (DACC) Tri! What a great race! I felt that it was well organized, especially for the first one. I traveled out to the DACC on Friday evening for my packet pick up and to get my body markings. I know it's pretty goofy, but I LOVE body markings!While out there, I drove the bike course. I'm glad I did, because I like to know where I'm going on the bike. And to know if there is anything funky with the road that I have to be careful of. This course had a couple of roads that were not really smooth.

My shoulder, neck and arm have still been bothering me. So I took ibuprofen every 6 hours through the night to stay on top of the pain. I'm not fond of taking ibuprofen, but I felt like this warranted the use.

So, yesterday morning I got up at 6 AM. Grabbed my transition bins, loaded up the bike and took off by 7AM. Hit the bike/run transition area and dropped off my running gear, plus a sweatshirt to throw in at the end of the race. Then I drove over to the bike transition area.

At this point, it's misting and the temp has not yet hit 60'. And, I'm thinking I'm an idiot for doing this. The parking area was about 1/2 mile away from the swim/bike transition, where we had to leave our bikes. From there, we walked about 1/4 mile to the start of the swim. This is when I fully committed to running this race. I thought, "What the heck? SO many people my age would be complaining just about a 3/4 mile walk. I'm already way ahead of the game." Then I thought, "I'm here. I've trained. I paid. Just do it. Commit to it, and get it done."

Every one at the swim start was so friendly. Lots of small talk from lots of people. Plus, I connected with my friend Andrea! I knew she'd be there, because we'd been talking about this race on FaceBook. Andrea is a friend from High school, that I haven't seen since HS. It was awesome! She's such a positive, healthy person, and great to spend a little time with.

One of the great things about this race, was that they kept the swim waves to less than 20 people each. So, no one was getting run over. Or....kicked in the head!! We were the 5th wave of swimmers, and I'm not sure how I feel about that. At least I didn't get passed on the bike course by 50 people.

The swim: The water was freezing! Conveniently, no one knew the actual temperature, but I know it was below 70'- probably more like 65'. I was cold through most of the swim. I really struggled with the swim. My shoulder and arm were so tired. I tried to focus on my stroke, and eventually made it to the other side of the lake.
Time 14.16!
Based on the race organizers estimate of a 550 yard swim, this was a pace of 2:35 per 100 yards. (I think they over estimated the distance, because I don't think I was going that fast.)

Transition One: about 3:30. This is an estimate, because they didn't officially break out the transition times.

The bike: I felt really strong on the bike! There was one hill that gave me a bit of a tough time. Most or all of the guys from the swim wave behind me, passed me. Oh well, that's to be expected! The thing I really loved about this course, was that the last mile was downhill. That meant that my legs felt pretty good for the start of the run.

Time: 40:43. This was a 15.33 pace!

Transition 2:As I pulled in to the transition area, I spotted Kevin and the kids!! Kevin had the video tape, which was awesome. The kids were cheering and clapping for me! In the video, you can see that I'm smiling like a fool!
Time: Approx: 2:15.

The Run: Amazingly, my legs felt pretty good for the run. No knee pain, and no cramping calves. There were 2 challenging hills on the course. I walked part of both of them. Someday, I'll get to the point where I won't walk any of the run. A few times I wanted to stop, and I implemented my "13.01!" script- it kept me going. I like that the run was an out and back course. That meant you were passing runners on the other side of the road fairly frequently. It was a great sense of support to cheer each other on! The run also ended on a down hill! That made it easy to finish strong, and smile as I crossed the finish line!
Run time: 36.23. that's a 11.44 minute mile.

Kev and the kids were there. Cheering and clapping! It was fantastic!

Final stats: overall time: 1:37:08
Finish in Age Group: 7 out of 12
Overall finish: 61 out of 72

Taking a look at the goals I set for myself:
Swim: My fantasy goal was 2:40 minutes per 100 yards. I hit 2:35!!
Bike My fantasy goal was a 16 mph pace, and realistic goal was 14.5 mph pace. I hit 15.33 mph!!
Run: my fantasy goal was 11:10 minute mile, and realistic was 12 min miles. I hit 11:44!!

I'm thrilled with my results from yesterday!! For every leg of the race, My splits were faster than they were in the Northern Columbia Tri last month!

Is that the end of the 2009 Tri season? Stay tuned...I think there's one more race to come!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Rant About our Healthcare System

AS you know, I hurt my neck and back last Sunday. I went to the Chiropractor on Tuesday, and got some relief. Unfortunately, I have continued to have pain, numbness and a feeling that my arm is a dead weight. Yesterday the symptoms worsened and traveled to my fingertips. My arm feels like I swam 1/2 a mile.

The chiropractors office is closed on Thursdays, so I called my primary care Dr. I should say that my PCP is my treatment provider of last resort. I'm not a big fan of the medical Dr's and the insurance and drug companies they are in bed with. But the pain was significant, so I went.

The first issue I had was a big sign at the receptionist desk, stating that effective August 1, a new federal law required that they take a photocopy of my drivers license and scan it into their electronic computer system. That annoyed me for 2 reasons. First, I felt they should have sent a letter out to all their patients letting them know about this. Unfortunately, the second reason it bothered me was initially a gut reaction. That means, I couldn't get it into words while I was standing there at the desk. So, like an idiot, I handed over my license. Hey-I was in pain and not really able to focus on much at the time.

Now that I've had time to process my gut reaction, here's the thing: I think this Dr is misrepresenting the law. I don't think (but I could be wrong) that the law requires them to have a permanent record of my license in their system. Plus, the guise of the law, is that medical identity theft is on the rise. (Okay- I get that, and it opens up a whole other rant that I will avoid at the moment.)So, are you really telling me that the way to prevent identity theft is to add my drivers ID number to the list of things that could be stolen!?! I'm no computer guru- but I think there are a few flaws in this thought process!

The DR. I saw was new to he practice. I felt that she was nice and empathetic. And, while I was there she was thorough. She sent me for an MRI, and told me she would call with the results by the end of the day. She never did tell me what she was concerned about, except possible arthritis.

Sure enough. late in the day, Dr. L. leaves a message on my cell. It goes like this, "Hi. This is Dr. L. I have the results of your MRI and it shows that you have severe arthritis in your neck. At this time we would recommend physical Therapy. You can take ibuprofin for the pain. If you'd like to talk more about this, you could call me in the office tomorrow. I am leaving for the day."

A DR. should answer questions, not leave you with anxiety and 50 new unanswered questions. Like, What type of arthritis? Exactly where in my neck? What are some treatment options? Is this degenerative? What is the long term prognosis? What qualifies it as severe? And how did it get to that point? The list goes on....

It's very frustrating to me that somehow, this Dr. felt that giving me a diagnosis in a voice mail, with no follow up appointment or real instructions, was even remotely acceptable.

So, at this point, I'm still planning to race the Tri tomorrow. I don't see why I shouldn't. I'll see my chiropractor on Tuesday, and discuss everything with him. At least he'll give me some answers, other than "Take ibuprofin."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

An Update

The DACC Triathlon is in 4 days.
This weekend did not quite go as planned. We spent much time on Friday and Saturday doing some home maintenance to get ready for the winter. So no official workouts happened on those days.
I threw my neck/back out on Sunday morning. Of course, that happens on a holiday weekend, when the Chiropractors office is closed until Tuesday. I did manage to ride Krumkill with Kevin later on Sunday, and I felt pretty strong. My pace was faster than last time, and the hills were a little easier.
My neck has continued to hurt, and my arm has felt weak and numb. So I got to the Chiro yesterday. I LOVE this guy! He treats several local triathletes, so he understands what our bodies need. I feel better now- but not 100%.

I sucked it up and ran on the treadmill last night. YUCK!I haven't hit the pool in 2 weeks (it was closed for maintenance)

So, here's what I'm looking at:

Swim- 1/3 mile: This will be slow. I'm okay with that, since I have ignored it lately. Plus, my arm is still feeling chronically tired (for lack of a better term) from whatever I did to my back. So, Maybe 3 minutes per 100 yards.
Fantasy: 2:40
Realistic: 2:50
Definite: 3:10

Bike- 10.4 miles: Last tri was an incredibly slow 12.1 MPH. Assuming I don't get kicked in the head again, I'm hoping to increase that to 14mph.(In my fantasy world, I will smoke that time!)
Fantasy: 16 mph
Realistic: 14.5 mph
Definite: 12.5 MPH

Run- 3.1 miles: Last Tri was a 13.01 pace. Remember that? My goal this time is to hit a 12 minute mile pace. That is still insanely slow, but I'll have the winter to work on my running.
Fantasy: 11:10 minute miles
Realistic: 12 minute miles
Definite: 13 minute miles

I'm curious: If you are a triathlete and your reading this: How do you set your goals for each race?


Saturday, September 5, 2009

One week From Today...

Next week at this time, I will be posting the race report for my second Triathlon of the year.

I'm ready! This is a shorter course than the last race, which has some benefits. Hopefully, I won't get kicked in the head during the swim this time.

Tomorrow I will ride Krumkill Road and do a 30 minute walk/run as the final hard training session before the race. After that, I'll try to get in the pool at least once this week. And do some running, but all the real work is done by now.

I'm excited because a friend from High School is traveling from Vermont to compete also. We haven't seen each other in years, but it will be great to know some one at the race.

I'll spend some time this week going over my race plan in my head. I have my scripts that I've been using during training sessions,and they seem to be working well for me. Part of my strategy is to look at who is racing, so that I get a sense of what I'm up against. As of yesterday, there were only 57 people registered. 9 of them were women in my age group. That number will probably jump to a total of 70 by the race. We'll see how it all falls together.

Kevin is not entering this race. He still hasn't recovered from the swim experience of the last race, so he will bring the kids to cheer me on.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Things That Make Me Happy: # 41 through 60

Perhaps I'm not the happiest person around, because this is surprisingly hard. For any one who's new here, I decided in June that I would list 100 things that make me happy. And I decided to break the list into groups of 20. It's not easy!

Any way, here's my next list:

41. Jumping in a mud puddle
42. Remembering that my little brother used to call them, "Muddles"
43. Lunch with my Mom
44. Daily emails from my Aunt Liz.
45. A boss that makes me laugh
46. new socks
47. A pedicure. That reminds me....
48. Watching one of the survivors I work with, Graduate from college.
49. Seeing a Newfoundland.
50. Lying on the beach for an afternoon
51. Raking up a huge pile of leaves
52. Jumping in the huge pile of leaves.
53. My bike.
54. A new bathing suit.
55. Seeing fireworks with Mackenzie and Jack.
56. A phone call from Shayna, when I can hear the happiness in her voice.
57. Eating dinner on my front porch.
58. Real mail- that isn't a bill.
59. Post cards
60. Fresh strawberries from our strawberry patch.

Go on...Start your own list.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Something Big on the Horizon

This past week I've had an opportunity come my way that I'm pretty excited about.

It combines two areas of my life that I am quite passionate about: Work and working out. I'll explain. As many of you know, I work with adults who have had a Traumatic Brain Injury. I love this job. The guys I work with are incredible. They are strong and true survivors. This past fall I was asked to be a founding board member for a fledgling Not for Profit called "Mindful Journeys Mentoring" (MJM). This is an incredible project for people with TBI's to help each other. But, I'm afraid I am digressing. ANYWAY...we have applied for 501c3 status and are now in the position to begin developing the actual Mentoring program. To do this effectively, we need money. So, as a member of the Development Committee, I have started researching the possibility of having a 5k run/1mile walk as a fund raiser! We're looking at early October, and are in the very early stages of research and planning. But I'm already learning a great deal about organizing an event like this! See the coolness?! Hanging out with people who are incredibly inspiring to me, and organizing a run! How awesome is that?

Here's hoping it works out! There are many pieces of information to bring to our board meeting before I get the approval to go ahead with it. So, keep your fingers crossed, and if you have any experience organizing something like this, please give me some advise about what to do and ask as I go along.

Be safe. Have fun. Peace.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ready to Roll!

My shoulder is feelin fine!
I did a brick last week that rocked!
I hit 900 yards in the pool, which is 300 more than I need for the race.

I'm feelin' Ready to Roll!

I have 2 new mantras that are keeping me focused and moving. They are, "What's the goal?"
and "13.01"

"What's the goal?" is all about not letting myself stop or slow up. Sometimes the answer is "To finish faster" or"Not to walk". And Sometimes it's as little as ,"Make it to the next mailbox". whatever the answer is, it keeps me moving.

"13.01" refers to my run splits in the last tri. I was very frustrated that I was at 13.01. If I had been 2 seconds faster per mile, I would've been under 13 minute splits. If I had walke just a few seconds less, and run a few seconds more, I would've met that goal. So, "13.01" reminds me to keep going. Push harder, because I don't want to settle for coming close to a goal, but missing it by just a few seconds.

So, I'm feeling strong. I'm feeling motivated. I'm so excited for my upcoming race, and it's still 2 weeks away!

Friday, August 21, 2009

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!

"I must've slept on it wrong"

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!

My shoulder hurts. It hurt all day long.

Okay, for those of you who don't do Tri's you're saying, "What's the big deal?" Or perhaps,"Suck it up, you big baby!"

The big deal is that the first leg of a Triathlon is the swim! That means use of the shoulders!
Mine is popping and feels tired. I swam tonight, because that's what my plan said to do. But, it hurts more now.

So, I'm telling myself it's because I slept on it wrong. And, in the morning, it will be just dandy!!

Please, send some positive energy my way, if you've got a little to spare. Thanks!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sentence starters that drive me crazy...

I was cruising around, lurking on various blogs, and found this one:

She's pretty funny. But, I admit I found some of the comments people left her to be really rude.
And it got me thinking about all the ways people start a sentence when they are going to justify being rude, mean, or dishonest.

So, here are some I thought of:

"I'm going to be totally honest with you..."[Expect a blatent lie after this]
"I'm just going to be honest and say..."{Here comes something really rude}
"I dont want to hurt your feelings, but"...{I'm going to anyway}
"Please don't take this the wrong way..." [I'm going to be mean, but don't be offended]
"Can I be honest with you?"...[Here comes something hurtful]

And one of my all time favorites:
"Okay, this is not an attack or anything, but..." [Look out cause here comes some of the most judgmental stuff you'll hear all week.]

All of this leaves me with 2 final thoughts tonight. First, thanks to everyone who has been supportive of me in the last year of blogging.

Second, Can we all go back to that kindergarten lesson, "If you don't have anything nice to say...blah, blah, blah"


Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunday's Ride

This was a celebration ride for paying off the first debt in our "Debt Snowball" plan.

Kevin chose the route, and he said,"It's going to be a little hilly. Is that okay?"

CLick on the "Show elevation" tab in the top right corner of the map. Then, when the elevation box pops up, drag the top green border up, to make the box bigger.

I love his idea of "a little"!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Next Race

Because it's so late in the summer, I didn't think I would be doing a second Triathlon this year. Then, I found this one..
It's the Duanesburgh 1st Annual Sprint Triathlon! 1/3 mile swim, 10.4 mile bike, and 5k run.

So, I'm off and training again. This time I decided to take a look at the elevation and grades of the bike/run. Here are the comparisons between The Northern Columbia Tri Bike course:

This time I'm not fooling myself into thinking it's no big deal! I will train on hills for the next few weeks.

And the run...Well, to hell with it. The run will never be easy for me. I'll just suck it up and deal with it...Or maybe I'll take a look at it next week.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I wasn't last!

Me at the end of the day! I love body markings!

That crazed look in my eyes is pure adrenaline!

I wasn't last!
But, I was pretty darn close!

"How was the Northern Columbia Tri?" you ask. Thanks for asking!I'll be happy to tell you...

It was brutally awesome! Kevin and I got there with no problem. We drove the course in reverse, as we dropped our stuff off at each transition area. That's when it really set in that some of the hills were pretty tough.

The swim: 440 yards of a lake swim.
There were a lot of weeds for the first 50 yards. I knew that Kevin wasn't doing well with the swim. He got in the water before the race to warm up, and came out freaked! He contemplated not doing the race, at all. I passed him quickly, and some how knew he was heading toward one of the buoys to rest. I got around the 1/2 way turn before I was passed by any one from the second wave of swimmers. That's when I got kicked in the head! Shortly after that, I swallowed water, and I'm pretty sure it went to my lungs. Then, I saw the Sheriffs boat heading toward a buoy to help some one who was in trouble. That threw me for a loop because I was thinking that it might be Kevin, but I kept going.
The timing mat was placed at the edge of the water, so my swim time was "real time" It was 11:52. That's a 2:42 pace, and put me at 133 out of 154 participants.

The bike: 19.8 miles
Bike time started the second you got out of the water- it included the swim to bike transition time. This is where I lost at least 5 minutes, maybe more. I couldn't breathe. My head was pounding from the kick I took. And, I was really worried about Kev at this point, because I heard some one say there was a man down in the water. Let's just say that I was not in "race mode" at this point. Just as I pulled myself together and started to refocus, the milk crate I was sitting on to get my shoes on, shattered underneath me! It's not very confidence boosting to think that my weight shattered a milk crate, as I'm trying to complete a race.

Okay, I pulled it together and got on my bike. I love my bike. I was doing okay. I didn't pass anyone, but I was holding a really good pace. Then, at mile 8, Kevin caught up with me!!! This is when I started dogging it, and now I know that I should've had a GU at that point. But I didn't. I was still fighting the headache and the desire to puke up the lake water. Kevin passed me (I told him to run his own race and not wait for me). Then I hit the first hill! That's where I knew I needed to do a GU earlier. I couldn't make it. But, in my defense, many people around me were walking their bikes too. I made up lots of lost time on the flats and downhills, but never caught Kev. The other hills were rough, but not as bad as the first one. All in all, I think I gave it my all on the bike. The hills were much harder than I estimated. The scenery was absolutely beautiful!The course was well marked and intersections had plenty of volunteers/ state police to keep us safe.

The bike time also included the time for the second transition area. Again, I could've been at least 3 minutes faster in this area, but I just let myself slow down way too much.
So, all in all, my bike time was a pathetic 1:36:40. That gave me a pace of just over 12 miles per hour. It's a very sad time. If the transitions had been separated out, my time would've been more like 1:26:00. So, now I know to push it much harder in transitions, and not slip out of race mode.

The run: 4.5 miles
OH MY LORD!! First of all, at this point in my training, 4.5 miles is a long run. So, even in a stand alone race, that would've been tough for me. The run started on an uphill!I ran most of it, but then my calves froze up on me, and I started to walk. Mile 2 was another uphill. Yep. The entire second mile was uphill- steep. 5% grade for some of it. My knees started hurting a lot- sharp pains. So, I walked part of this hill too. Mile 3 was downhill- some as steep as 7% grade. I went as fast as I could without hurting my knees. Then, the last half mile was uphill again. I know the scenery on the run was beautiful- but I don't remember much of it.
Final run time: 58:36. Ready for mile splits were 13.01.. How frustrating is that? I was so close to being in the 12 minute range.

My final time was 2:47:09
Kevin's final time was 2:29:42
I'm so proud of myself and Kevin for doing this!
There are a bunch of things I learned- like don't try to sit on a crappy milk crate for the transition area!
I'm taking some time to process the event and every thing I learned.
I know what to focus on for my next tri- and I have a baseline to set some goals with.
Here's a picture of us at the finish line:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Two Days Before the Tri!

First, thanks for the kind and supportive words you left in response to my last post.

After I got over my hour of poutiness, I did some research and some planning. I took the advise of one of the women in my Beginner Triathlete mentoring group, and came up with 3 sets of numbers. For each leg of the race I came up with a "best case scenario, every thing's going perfect" time, a realistic goal time, and a "safety net" time.
Here's what I'm looking at:


best: 10:30 Minutes
Probable: 11:30 minutes
definite: 13 minutes

best: 1:10 (16.50 mile pace)
Probable: 1:18 (15 mile pace)
definite: 1:25 (13.8 mile pace)

RUN: 4.5 miles
best: 40:30 (11:00 min pace)
probable: 52:30 (11:40 min pace)
definite:54 minutes (12 min pace)

Of course, this is still all guess work because I've never done an official Triathlon, and I didn't factor in transition times. So, if transition times are factored into the leg times, then my times might be longer than I'm anticipating.

Next, I took a look at the results from the last few years. And, I feel a bit better about my prospects. I like this race for my first, because it's not USATF sanctioned. There are some fast competitors in the past years, but there are also several people who are more at my pace.

So, I'm feeling better now!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Moment of Self Doubt

Oh Crap! I'm going to finish last on Sunday.

Even my husband, who decided last week to enter this race, and has trained for one week is going to beat me.

Dead. Last. Packing up the Finish line arch as I'm hobbling underneath it. Last.

I'm just warning you all now.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Training Update

The Northern Columbia Tri is next Sunday!
Since I didn't post my training plan (as I said I would), I'll give you a training update from the past week.

Week totals from Friday 7.25 thru Friday 7.31:
Swim: 1x for 30 minutes
Bike: 3x's for 178 minutes and 39.46 miles
Run: 2x's for 52.12 minutes and 4.75 miles.

I also logged 80 minutes of walking this week.

Some of the week's highlights:

Last Saturday I went out to Canaan and checked out the course. The swim will be beautiful. It's a small lake and seems quite nice. Much of the bike course is flat and some downhill. There are a few hills to climb, but none are bigger than the Krumkill hills I've been training on. So as I pulled up to the identified Bike/run transition area I was feeling pretty good about myself.

Then, I started driving the run course. Keep in mind 2 facts: I am a slow runner, and 4.5 miles is a long run for me. Even on a good day. The run is 4.5 miles long, and I'm pretty sure that 4.3 miles of it is uphill. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

SO, what's a girl to do? After I got over that "I think I'm going to puke" feeling, I came home and ran hill repeats. And, then I did a brick work out. And today, I'll run the hills on Krumkill road. The same ones that I've used to get ready for the bike leg.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Who Would've Guessed...

I'm really not a corporate kinda girl. But I seem to have found a place that's a good fit for me. 'Cause here I go...

I am the new TBI Program Manager for my office!

Friday, July 24, 2009

August 9th is the Day!

I did it! I finally chose a Triathlon! I registered tonight!

It's a Sprint Distance.

.25 mile swim in a lake
19.8 mile bike
4.5 mile run. read that right. 4.5 mile run. Not the customary 3.1 miles for a Sprint. Hmmm. What was I thinking?

Here's the link:

I'm so excited, I can't sleep. And, it's almost 1AM.

Training plan details for the next 2 weeks will be discussed soon.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Things that Make me Happy: Part 2

Here's the continuation of my list:

21. An early morning walk with my dog.
22. The first snow storm of the year.
23. Lightning bugs
24. Getting great seats at a sold out movie.
25, New running shoes
26. spending time with my sister.
27. A new book.
28. Running into an old friend.
29. cuddling up with the cat.
30. Hearing my Dad laugh.
31. The smell of fresh cut wood.
32. Finding a bike path to explore.
33. Sticking my toes in the ocean for the first time each year.
34. Swimming in Pecks Lake.
35. A hot fudge sundae with Reese's pieces.
36. The smell of a child's hair after a bath.
37. Reading with Mackenzie and Jack.
38. Lilac bushes.
39. Sunflowers.
40. Watching a butterfly dance across the lawn.

Friday, July 17, 2009

A free give-away!

Check out this blog:
Felicia makes beautiful jewelry, and she's giving this necklace away as a celebration to mark her one year anniversary in the blogging world.

One of the things I love about her blog, is that she is so darn positive! Go to her blog and she has simple instructions for how you can enter to win!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More from Texas

I have a few more pictures to share from Texas.

First, the 1981 Fuji Mixte that Doohickie found and fixed up! This is the bike I took on our 35 mile ride Saturday morning.

The funny thing about this picture is this: in my home, I keep my bike in the exact same spot as this one. And, it drives both of our spouses crazy that Doohickie and I bring our bikes into the living room. I am luckier than Doohickie, because I also have one in my bedroom, which Mrs. Doohickie has banned from occurring in her home.

On Friday we went to the Fort Worth Zoo. This is a picture of Mackenzie with her two oldest cousins.
One of my cousins joined us at the zoo with her two adorable little ones. However, out of respect for their privacy, I am not posting a photo of them. It was wonderful to see them, and I'm thankful they were willing to make the 2 hour ride down for the day.

Kenz was really looking forward to doing Legos with her big cousins. They graciously obliged and spent a great deal of time building things with her.

Finally, the Doohickie family has a cat. Apparently this cat does not like to be touched or bothered by most people.

Mackenzie appears to be the exception to that rule!

It was a great trip, although much too short.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Brief Trip

Mack and I are in Texas for 6 days. We are visiting Doohickie and my sister PennyCandy. Doohickie had a spare bike waiting for me, so I got to go on a club ride with him. Check out his blog for some photos!

We went to the stockyards on Sunday, where Kenz saw some real cowboys.

More photos will follow, once we're home in chilly NY!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Thinking Positive: A List

This is sort of a morphed version of a recent blog from, where she started to develop a "Bucket list". I like that idea, and I'm sure I'll do a version of it in the future.

But for now, I'm feeling like it's a good time to reflect on some of the best things in life. So, my goal is to list 100 things that make me happy.

Here's the start (I doubt I'll get 100 all in one sitting)

Things That Make Me Happy:
  1. Watching a thunderstorm roll across the sky
  2. Hearing the uncontrolled giggles of my children.
  3. Watching Jack learn to swim.
  4. Listening to Mackenzie read to Jack.
  5. A heartfelt conversation with Shayna.
  6. Camping in the Adirondacks...even if it rains.
  7. Spending an afternoon at the Clark Art Institute.
  8. Hiking to the Top of Mount Sleeping Beauty.
  9. Painted toenails.
  10. Holding hands with Kevin.
  11. Cheering Mackenzie on as she caught her first fish.
  12. Shahi Paneer.
  13. Sharing Shahi Paneer with shayna.
  14. Sharing a bottle of Wolf Blass Chardonnay with friends.
  15. Taking a walk with Kevin.
  16. Birthday cake!
  17. My moms Strawberry upside down cake.
  18. Kevin playing the saxophone
  19. A long bike ride by myself.
  20. A long bike ride by myself on a Saturday morning, while every one else is asleep.

Okay-That's 20! Maybe I'll do 20 at a time.

Does any one else have a list?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Re-Evaluating Goals

As I've mentioned before, my big Tri goal for this year has been to compete in the Fronhofers Olympic Tri. I'm taking a realistic look at where I'm at with training for it, and what it will take to finish the race. At this time, I have to concede that I don't think I'm ready.

Here's the deal: The Fronhofers race is on August 2. The didstances are:
a 1640.42 yard swim,
24.85 mile bike,
and a 6.21 mile run.

I'm not there. Not even close. Okay, I can push the the swim. And the bike distance isn't an issue, but I understand there are some serious hills on the course, along with a time cut-off. But,it's the run that'll kill me! I can not get off the bike and do a 10k. Not yet, anyway. And definately not without walking.

So, "what's the new plan?" you ask.

Well, thans for asking. And since you asked, I'll share my new plan with you! There is a Crystal Cove Sprint Tri on August 29.

Crystal Cove is in Averill Park, and the bike course actually goes past my parents road.

Here are the distances:
Swim .5 miles (That's about 900 yards)
Bike 18 miles
Run 5K

The bike course is still incredibly hilly. But the swim and run are half the distance of the other race. I already swim that distance in training, so now I can work on getting faster. Running after a bike ride is always painful, but I can run a stand alone 5k now. This gives me time to get stronger and faster at it.
So, this will be my first ever- official Triathlon.

This will be the race that allows me to claim "I'm a Triathlete!"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Spiral Staircases

I love Spiral staircases. Not sure why, but I do! I have an almost irrisistable urge to charge up them, when I see them.
While I was running around for work today, I went to 2 new places. Both of them had spiral staircases. What are the odds of that?
When I grow up- I'm going to have one in my home. It might just lead to nowhere!

Just thought I'd share.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Birthday and a Graduation!

Last Friday was a big day for our family! Mackenzie graduated from Kindergarten and it was Jack's third Birthday!

Here are some pics of the special day!

Graduation morning! Kenz was so excited to wear this outfit. She picked it out for herself.

Shayna and Kenz, after Graduation.

Our family, after graduation.

Before leaving the school, we stopped to see Dana

From there, we went to lunch to celebrate. Kevin and Jack enjoyed some 'nuggles while we waited for our food.

The Jack-Man in the traditional "Barcomb Family Birthday Hat"

It was a fantastic day for all of us.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Race Update

I ran the "Teagans Run 5k" today, as scheuled.

What an inspiring morning. Teagan is a little girl who was diagnosed with Leukemia three years ago. She also has Down's Syndrome. Fortunately she is in remission now!

Her family has continued to organize this race for the past 2 years for other children with Leukemia. This years honored child is Ava. Both Ava and Teagan were at the run today, with their families.

These little girls are both absolutely beautiful! I felt very fortunate to be able to take part in this event.

As for the event itself, it was held in Saratoga State Park, and the weather was fantastic. The course is very enjoyable, it runs along the Avenue of the Pines, which is very peaceful. There were several mother/daughter teams out there, doing a walk/run together. The run was completely casual, no time clocks or chips. Luckily I had my watch with me.

The only complaint I had was that it ended on a grass field. I don't like to run on fields after a 3 mile run. My legs are too tired, and I don't trust my foot at that point in the run. So, that slowed me down a little for the last couple of hundred yards.

Even so, my final time was 33:14- A new PR for me!!

And here I am, in my Team Teagan T-shirt

Now I'm psyched for summer- I'm ready for Kevin to be done with the school year so that I can run in the morning before work! Time to pick the next race.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Next Race

I've signed up fo another 5k. This one is in the same state park as the last race I did, but a slightly different course.

The race is to benefit an area family who's little girl has Leukemia. All of the proceeds go to Ava's family. The entry fee is higher than anything I usually consider, but supporting this family is worth it.

There are lots of area races, so I choose which ones I'll participate in by 3 criteria: What is the cause I'm running for? What is the entry fee? and what is the actual course?

If there are 2 races close together that are appealing, then I resort to my tie-breaking question: "Who has the cooler race t-shirt?"

I'm curious, if you are a runner/triathlete, how do you choose your events?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

3 Milestones in One Day

Yesterday was the first ride on my new bike!! It's a great bike! It still doesn't have a name though. Not even a gender yet.

I did the same route today, that I did on May 15. It's the Krumkill to Route 306 out and back route. Here are a few comparisons between the two rides.
On that day I did it in 1 hour 44 seconds with an average pace of 13.39. Today I did it in 56:04- which is an average pace or 14.50. My fastest speed today was 30mph! Downhill, that feels pretty darn fast.

There were 3 highlights on this ride today!
First- On the long Krumkill hill, I never had to granny gear it! Middle ring the whole hill!! This hill is .6 miles. I have no idea what the grade is, but it's fairly steep.

Second- I took 4 minutes and 40 seconds off my overall time!! That's a significant amount of time on a short ride.

Third- I MADE IT UP THAT STEEP LITTLE HILL ON THE RIDE HOME!! I've never made it up that hill without stopping/walking!! I think I could've done it faster, but I was being a little conservative, with the goal being to just get up it!!

I love having a road bike!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fuji Bordeaux


I found my new bike!

Last week I came to the conclusion that The Bea was definatley not the right size for me, and it was time to let her go. She found a new home last Friday night, with a young guy who's been riding his Dad's 1973 Schwinn something. He even liked her name! So, I was sad to see her go, but I think she's being ridden now.

Then, I sold CLick at a garage sale on Saturday. And my ancient Ovation Accoustic guitar at the same garage sale. And a bunch of other ridiculous cra...I mean products that other people desperately needed andwill love dearly.

And, I had enough for some serious bike shopping. I almost bought a Bianchi from CL, but my gut told me to hold off. Then, I almost went for a Trek 1000. Again, my gut said "wait". Both were very nice bikes, but they were showing their age.

So I waited, and hit a few bike shops during my lunch breaks every day this week, to try out some brands and sizes. Tonight I picked up a 2005 Fuji Bordeaux! Here she is... (with the awesome Mack-Attack helping me out!)

At 19.5 lbs, she's very light and fast. I have to get used to the shifting system, but that's okay. The shifting is smooth. It's a great fit, and the woman who owned her was the same height/ general size as me.

The best part is, it didn't wipe out my whole budget! So I still have (a little) spending money for my trip to TX in a couple of weeks!!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Little Guy...BIG attitude

This is tha cutest thing I've seen in a long time. It cracks me up every time I watch it.

Admittedly, I may be a bit biased... Tell me what you think. Or better yet, leave a comment for NP Diva, since she caught it on tape.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Favorite Running Gear

This could go on the popular Face Book application: "25 Surprising Things you Might Not Know About Me."

Here's the surprising fact. I love running skirts. Love them. I don't even own a pair of running shorts any more. They are my favorite piece of running gear.

For some one who never wears skirts, this is odd. But, here's the deal: They are way more comfy than shorts. No wedgies occur with the skirts. And this is the other thing- it feels powerful to run in a skirt. In the rest of my life, I don't like skirts because they are so confining. You must "act like a lady" when you are wearing a skirt. (Thanks Dad). I have never been one to "act like a Lady" even on the rare occasion that I've actually tried to do so. Therefore, skirts do not have much of a place in my closet.

But the running skirt-now that's a different story. Short, lightweight, no wedge, Girl power all the way. A skirt that says "act like a lady"="kick some serious butt!"

My favorite is

But, even Target has an inexpensive version to get you started. This is my theory: Running skirts are so cool, that putting one on will entice even the non-runner to get out on the road. If you decide to test my theory, let me know the results!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Tough Decision

Earlier this month I introduced you to "The Bea". I was so excited to finally have a road bike! I knew when I got her that I would need to do some fit adjustments to her. So, I took her on a few short rides to get a feel for what adjustments would be needed. And, I began to suspect that perhaps she is just too big for me.

Two weeks ago, I took her into my favorite LBS (Local Bike Shop)
This is a store where they never pressure me to buy any thing. They are incredibly patient with my silly questions, and allow me to dream endlessly as I ogle their beautiful inventory. On more than one occasion, they have encouraged me to buy the least expensive option of whatever item I am looking at that day. Like the $40 panniere's instead of the $120 set.

But, I digress... SO, I brought the Bea in to the store on a Tuesday morning, and the guy behind the counter proceeded to try very hard not to laugh when I said I needed a few things adjusted so the bike will fit me better. He looked down at his shoes for a moment to compose himself, then very kindly said, "Umm. Sorry. It can't be done."

I must have looked like a child who just lost her puppy, because he took pity on me then. He explained that, yes, there are several things he could do to adjust the fit. Every thing I had been thinking could be done. But, ultimately, the bike is just too big for me. All of these changes would cost so much, that I'd end up spending almost as much as I would on a new entry level bike. Plus, I'd only be putting a band aide on a complex fracture. After three months of riding, I'd start to have chronic pain in my wrists, neck, back and/or knees. Then when I came back to the store for adjustments there would be nothing they could do. He suggested that I resell the bike on CL, and keep my eyes open for something that will be a better fit for me.

He didn't even try to sell me anything!

It's taken me a couple of weeks to accept this information. I haven't taken the news lightly. I really like this bike- I'd love it. if it fit me better. I tried to keep it in the family, by convincing Shayna and Kevin to take it for a spin. I've even refrained from calling her by her name, when discussing this with Kevin, because he thinks I'm weird for naming my bikes. But, they've both "yessed" me, and neither one has even taken her around the block. So, I'm afraid she has to go.

I posted her on CL tonight. I hope I can find a good home for her. I hope her new owner will give her a name. And I really hope I find the right bike soon. Because, I just want to go faster!

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Conversation with Jack

Last night I had to run a few errands. I asked Jack to go with me, so that Kev and Kenz could do a few things together. We had an interesting conversation. Well, it was more like an ongoing monologue with a few requests for feedback from me.

We got in the car and it went like this.
J:" We in Daddy's car. This Daddy's car. Mommy, you have the van. Right Mommy?"
M:"Yes, Jack."
J: "OH LOOK!! That's a digger! That's a big digger! Pops has a digger. Pops has a bullz-ah-dozer! I drive Pops's Bullz-ah-dozer! Why the worker guy not driving that digger, mommy?" then, before I can answer "He not driving cause it's almost dark out. Right mom?"
M:"Yes Jack."

silence for a minute or so. Then one of my favorite parts of the ride!
J:"Look Mommy! That ladies running!Right Mom?"
M:"Right Jack"
J: "She running to get exercise and be healthy. Right Mom?"
M:"Right Jack"
J"You run so you are healthy. Right Mom?"
M"Yes Jack."
J"Right Mom!" He watches the runner as she crosses the intersection in front of us. "You're faster than her. Right Mom?"
M: "I don't think so Jack"
J: "Yes Mom. You're faster than her. I know it Mom. Right Mom?"
M: "Right Jack."
J: "I love you too Mom."

There are so many things I love about Jack and this conversation! I love that he wants my vailidation that he's right. I love that he thinks I"m faster than the other guy, although I assure you that I am not.
And I love that he finishes with telling me he loves me too, as if I already said it to him.

Of course, the next part of the conversation, was the recount of when he threw up in the car a couple of weeks ago! Well, I can't expect a 2 year old to be charming all the time.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Best Parenting Advise Ever

Yesterday was my Dad's birthday. I won't tell you how old he is, but if you go here
she spills the beans on him!

Seriously, PC gave a great tribute to our Dad. And, since she is the oldest, she gets that honor.

The only thing I'll add is that my Dad gave me the best parenting advise I've ever received. That was, "You shouldn't have to yell at your kids. Just develop a look that lets them know you mean business."

And I realized, he was right. My Dad did yell sometimes (what parent doesn't). But, he also had a look that could stop me in my tracks. I took his advise, and developed a "look" of my own. It works well. Sometimes too well. I've had (usually younger) co-workers who have said to me "oh no...I just got 'the look' " when they have crossed a line somewhere.

Anyway, Happy Birthday Dad! Thanks for being rock solid and never waivering in your love for us.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Back on Track

Last week was a horrible training week. The worst I've had in a long time. I did a total of less than 2 hours of workouts for the entire week! Life kept getting in my way...which left me with 50 excuses and some legit reasons for missing so much time on the pavement and in the pool.

But this week, I'm back on track! Look out Here I come!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Snake for dinner...

This is in my backyard.

My resident snake expert, Mackenzie, informs me there are only 2 types of grey snakes. I doubt that's true, but as I have a strong dislike of snakes, I'll take her word for it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Meet "The Bea"

Here she is...

Okay, this is a stock photo from

As luck would have it, our camera died. So, real photos will be coming soon, but I couldn't wait that long!

I've been searching eBay and CL for months now, waiting for the right bike at the right price to come along. I've traveled as far as Burlington, Vt. to look at a bike, that was a total joke. I've looked at old clunkers for $175. Some of them had potential, but not as road bikes. This weekend I got lucky and found The Bea. She's light, and faster than anything I've ridden! I haven't ridden much yet, because I need a shorter stem and I'm not used to the toe cages. The plan is to put her on the trainer tonight and get a feel for her before I get on the road in the next couple of days.

Stay tuned for real pictures. The new camera will be here soon!


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Swine flu

Evidence that I might have Swine Flu....

1. My house is a pig stye at the moment.

2. My Kids are currently watching "Charlottes Web" for the 3rd time this week.

3.We ate slop for dinner tonight.

4. My front patch of garden was kindly turned into a mud pit by Jack this afternoon, as he was determined to find worms by giving them water to drink.

5. I haven't exercised in 3 days, so I feel like a fat sow!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Race Report

My 5k was this past Saturday. I thought it would be fair to give a race report, since I talked about it last week.

So, in 5 words or less, here it is: "It was Terrible!"

When I left the Y last Wednesday night, I had just completed my last run before the race, and I was psyched! I felt like my goal was completely within my reach. Then, my ride home became the nightmare that I wrote about in the post below. And the race just didn't seem so important anymore.

Between Wednesday night and Saturday morning, I didn't sleep very well. I was crying at random times, and just really struggling with everything. But, I got up Saturday morning and went to the run.

It just wasn't happenin for me though. I felt like the race was poorly organized, and I almost missed the start, because they never announced that it was approaching. There was no sense of camaraderie among the runners, and it seemed like a chore to the volunteers to be there. There were no mile markers and no time clocks along the course, so I had no way of knowing how I was doing.

So, as far as my personal race goes, it was not good. I think that my body decided to release all of the stress and tension I'd been feeling since Wednesday. I was physically exhausted. After what I think was a mile, I seriously thought I was going to have to lay down on the grass and fall asleep. It wasn't that normal feeling of pushing yourself hard and feeling it. I really thought I was just going to need to stop and lay down. I kept going, but my legs felt like I was on a 10 mile run. After the race, I was physically sick, more than once.

My final time was 34:25. Which is 11:06 minutes per mile. That is 5 seconds slower than the 4 miler I did in March.

So there you have it. The ugly truth of just how badly I did. I'm not sure where to go from here. At this point, I'm trying to take care of myself. Both physically and emotionally.

As far as races go, I can sign up for another 5k in May. Or, I can focus on building distance to a 10k. I'll check with my tri mentor and see what she recommends, but I'm certainly open to suggestions.