Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Blur that is December

Hmmm. Where to start.
Our awesome, free spirit, intense Mack is now 8! We celebrated her birthday with a party at the local rock climbing wall. It was a huge hit with all of the kids. I loved that we had 2 hours to climb the walls, and the two employees were fantastic with the kids. Sorry, no pictures because our camera is MIA.

We've spent the month decorating, singing Christmas carols, baking cookies and visiting with family and friends. Shayna is home for winter break, and it's always wonderful to have her here. She got her first car this month too! Thanks to a friend, she now has a 97 Nissan Sentra, and seems very happy with it.

And, now Christmas is a mere 2 days away. The shopping is done. The stockings are hung by the stairs. Requests have been made to Santa. Although, neither Mack or Jack will go anywhere near the mall Santa's, so we rely on letters to him. Jack has been carrying the "Back to Basics" toy catalog around for a month, and is adamant that he wants the ride on excavator- he shows anyone who will look at the picture.
He has also asked for, "More friends. new friends. and better friends. Oh yeah, that and more toys!"
Mack's list consists of batteries and pistachio nuts.
My Christmas wish is for health and happiness for those I love.
Oh yeah- that and a bunch of Tri gear!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bethlehem 1st Annual Turkey Trot

Yesterday was Thanksgiving,and I planned to start my day off by running the 1st Annual Bethlehem Turkey Trot. The goal was to take at least 4 minutes off the time of may last race, since I was really sucking wind that day.

Well, I didn't meet my goal. In fact, I added 4 minutes to my last race time. But, I don't care. No, really, I'm happy to have been slower than I was a month ago. Now, I know all you runners are scratching your heads, trying to figure out what the heck has gotten into me.
I can answer that in one word...Mackenzie! That's right. Mack ran the race with me! My seven year old finished her first ever 5k! With no official training. When I woke up yesterday morning, she said she wanted to go with me to the race. I explained to her how far the run would be, and she decided to give it a try!
So, off we went, to register and get our numbers!

She worked really hard to do her best. Here she is in the 3rd mile!

She finished strong, and was happy to see Kevin, Shayna and Jack there to cheer her on! Here we are in our post race excitement.

It was a great morning, an I'm so proud of her for running the race with me.She says she wants to do another one!I'm trying to keep my glee in check, but it's exciting to think she might be my future running partner!

Friday, November 19, 2010

7 Days without Soda

I am a Diet Coke Fiend. I have been since I was 18. Over the years, it has become almost exclusively, the only thing I drink. I accept no substitutes. If there is no soda in the house when I wake up in the morning, I run to the local Mobile to get some before Kevin leaves for the day.

Sure, I have water after a workout. And, occasionally I have a glass of wine. Rarely do I touch milk. And, I never drink juice. So, probably 98% of all fluid intake is Diet Coke. Over the years, I've tried to cut back every once in a while, but it never works for longer than a few weeks. At most.

Well, last Saturday, I decided that I'm done with Diet Coke. I bought a 20 ounce bottle around lunch time, and by the end of the day, still had about 8 ounces left. I haven't had any soda since.

Has it been hard? Not too bad. Only in the middle of the night when I wake up thirsty. Only during the work day when I hear the vending machine calling my name from the other end of the building. If the office is quiet, I am sure that I can hear those cans spinning around in their slots, waiting for me to come and liberate them from their prison. And it's only a little hard when I'm standing in line at the store, and the person behind me puts a 2 liter on the counter. I thought briefly of offering her $5 for her bottle.

But honestly, by today, it was okay. I only thought of DC 3 or 4 times. But, once I'm home from work, I'm safe. There's no soda here, and I don't want to go out to get any. So, I've made it a whole week!
Will I make it longer? I think so. I don't like to fail at things. And, I did find a delicious tea that has been saving my butt every afternoon.
When I think about getting a soda, I remember what a friend in recovery said to me, "You don't have to commit to the rest of your life. You just have to decide for today that you won't drink."

It's very much like a strategy I use for biking: I don't have to promise to ride up every hill, I only have to commit to the one directly in front of me at the moment.

How bout you? Have you tackled any personal hills lately?

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Dragonfly Adventure

Once again, the stars align and things in my life fall into place.
In early October, a high school friend and fellow triathlete, asked me if I have any interest in training for a marathon with her. My immediate response was, "well, YEAH!" I looked at the website of the race she is planning to run, an realized that it seems to be a for profit race. Now, that's fine for some, but if I'm going to enter a race, I want my money to go toward making the world a better place.

At the same time, these conversations were occurring, I have been following this blog. Ed Peck is a former teacher of mine, who had a significant impact on my life. Since hearing of his battle with Multiple Myeloma Cancer, I have been feeling the need to do something related to this disease in Ed's honor.

And, the stars align.

My friend and I talked about running the marathon in Ed's honor, and using it as a fund raiser. But, guess what? That's sort of frowned upon, if the race isn't alreay identified as a fund raiser for the cause.

That left me with one option: Create a half marathon in Ed's honor. I put the idea out on facebook, and within an hour, had several Tamarac Alumni voicing support and enthusiasm for the idea! I then contacted the Pecks for their approval of the idea, and they gave me their blessings to pursue the idea!
The next step was to develop an avenue to organize the event through. So, The Dragonfly Adventure was established.

So much work has gone into organizing this event, it's incredible.
The half marathon has evolved into a half marathon, a 10k and a community walk! Ed has identified the Capital District Cancer Resource Foundation as the organization that will receive all proceeds from the day. We met with the Brunswick Town Board last night, and were given preliminary approval to have the race on town roads.The Peck's are choosing a name for the race, and Tamarac teachers and staff have been told of the events.
Stay tuned for more information as this process unfolds.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Troy YMCA 5k report

On Saturday Oct 30th, I ran the 5th annual Troy YMCA's Monster Madness 5k. Kevin and our friend Ryder joined us.Actually, Ryder roped me into this one. She hadn't run a 5k in 20 years, and wanted some one to plan to run with.

Hmmm. Great idea. Except that she kicked my butt and left me in the dust! She really did fantastic. The first half of this race is mostly uphill, with a few areas of flat grade. Ryder was smart and trained on the course, which paid off for her.

Kevin also did fantastic! He ran sub 9 minute miles, finishing in just over 27 minutes.

As for me, let's just say that I am motivated to run another 5k before the end of 2010. Because I really can't let my time in this race be my best time of the year. The uphills wreaked havoc on my ankle. On several of the hills, I had to walk, because it was locking up on me. When I heard my time at the 2 mile marker, I had to do some serious adjustments to my goals for the day.

The good news is, that I found a first annual Turkey Trot to take part in on Thanksgiving morning. The course is flat, and the flyer welcomes walkers, so I think it won't be super competitive.
Last night I drove over to Bethlehem after work and ran the course. I had the map in my pocket and had to stop twice to be sure I was going in the right direction. I truly have minimal sense of direction and was starting to convince my self I was going the wrong way, when another runner came by, saw the map, and assured me I was heading the right way.

Even after all of that, I took 1:20 minutes off of my time from Saturdays 5k! I'm feeling better already. It's amazing what a flat course can do for me.

In other news, I've been working diligently to organize a half marathon in my home town. I've been asked to present my ideas at the Town meeting next week, and once I have approval to go ahead with the plans, I'll give more details! For now, wish me luck.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Renewed Focus on Running

Since I broke my foot last March, my running has suffered. I've been hesitant to push too hard. I've allowed the slightest twinge of pain to be reason to stop and evaluate the situation. In short, I have lost my mojo.

Well, mojo or not, I'm being prodded to get my butt in gear. First, my closest friend in life has asked me to do a 5k with her. She hasn't done one in about 20 years, but she wants to do one on October 30. Of course, I said yes! Kevin is going to run it with us also. Let me clarify that: Kevin will be at the starting line with us. He will be eating his third banana by the time we cross the finish line.

Last week, my high school friend that does tri's, Andrea, Face Booked me and asked if I'd be interested in training for a marathon with her. At first I said yes, but upon further thought, I've decided to train for a Half Marathon instead. This has sort of taken on a life of it's own, since a few Tamarac alumni and I have discussed the possibility of organizing a 1/2 Mary as a fund raiser for a former teacher of ours, who is battling Myeloma Cancer.

I completed week one of the training program for the 1/2 marathon, this past Saturday. Week 2 is a repeat of the first week.

Sun- rest/ or bike
Monday- 30 minute run
Tues- bike
Weds- 30 minute pool jogging (to prevent injury)
Thurs- 30 min run
Fri- rest
Sat- 60 minute run.

That's not so hard. This seems like an obtainable goal.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Combination of Things I love

My friend Julie shared this link with me on Face Book, and it amazed me so much that I decided to share it with all of you.

This video combines several things near and dear to my heart. Children, dogs, the ocean, and an incredible story of some one with a Traumatic Brain Injury doing something he clearly loves.

Enjoy this video

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Winds of Change Aren't So Strong After All

Well, I thought the winds of change were blowing in my life, and I was hopeful.
But, it turned out to be more of a slight summer breeze, rather than the major change in weather pattern that I was hoping for.

I have learned a great deal in the past couple of weeks. About myself, my husband, and life in general.

I did meet with the man from the company I wrote a letter to, and I walked away believing it was a great meeting. We seemed to have similar visions for where things could go in this venture. He said that he had to meet with his accountant and put together some numbers. He said that he'd get back to me soon with the next steps in the process. I walked away from the meeting energized and excited.
I came home and shared the news with Kevin. As excited and enthusiastic as I was, he was equally anxious and fearful. There were too many unknowns for him, and he couldn't get comfortable with the idea of believing it will all be okay. As we were talking all of this out over a few days, I also had a job offer from my former employer.

Herein lied my dilemma: The company I used to work for wanted an acceptance or denial of the position by this past Weds. I hadn't heard from the other company by Wednesday night.
And, I was faced with some difficult decisions at the last minute. Do I accept the sure thing, or take the chance?
Continue to listen to my heart, or play it safe?
Do I chose My goals and dreams at the expense of my husbands comfort level?

Ultimately, I chose to accept the job offer from my previous employer. It is a job I know and like. I'm good at it. In today's economy, I was lucky to have three agencies to choose from. So, I chose the one I am most comfortable with.

The dust is still settling from the decision I've made and the events leading up to it. I'm not sure yet what the long term results will be from my decisions. I do know that I'll still pursue getting my USAT Tri Coaching certification. In the spring, I may look to start up another running club for girls, although I don't think it will be through Girls Inc. again.

And the Beat Goes On...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

2nd Annual DACC Tri Report

Well, I'm not really going to give a report. I did terribly. It was the Worst race I've ever had. I've been in a bad mood all day because of it- beating myself up; thinking I shouldn't have even bothered to go.

And then, I got a big slice of humble pie, courtesy of this man.

I woke up this morning, and I felt sick. My husband and kids didn't come to cheer me on. My leg and foot went numb during the bike ride (and stayed that way for most of the run), and I was ridiculously slow in every leg of the race. But, I am healthy enough to be out there. My injuries and illnesses are not life threatening, and even though I woke up sick and injured, I chose to go to the race.

So, I'm working on changing the tapes that have been running in my head all day. I'm working to reframe the experience into something positive. And, I'm working on figuring out how to bounce back to race times that I can be happier with.

Then, I thought of my baby dragonfly. Early in the race, I looked down at my handle bars, and noticed a baby dragonfly hanging out for the ride. He hung on for the entire 10 miles. Some one said, "Hey- they're good luck!" and now I realize, I finished a race under less than ideal physical conditions. I didn't drown, fall off my bike or twist my ankle on the run. Maybe he did bring me good luck. Maybe that was the best I could hope for today.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Saturday's race

This Saturday is the second annual DACC Tri in Duanesburg. This is the race I did last fall, and the water was so cold, the race organizers would only say "Last week the water temp was about 55".

I hope it's warmer this year.

I will also note, that my training has been spotty and pathetic. So, although I'll post a race report, please do not expect any thing spectacular.

The good news is, the distances are completely manageable, so I should have fun!

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Winds of Change

Last night I had a dream that I was facing a tornado. The funnel cloud was completely black and filled most of the sky. As I watched it come closer, there was an ominous feeling in the air. I stood in the window and watched it coming right toward me. My mom was there. So were Mack, Jack, and our Dog. Kevin and Shayna were not there, but intuitively, I knew they were safe.

In this dream, I was starting to panic. How will I keep my babies safe? What will we do if the tornado hits? Every thing will change, and life as we know it will never be the same.

And then my Mom took my arm and said, "take care of right now. It's scary, but every thing will be okay." And, I knew she was right.

Well, it doesn't take a dream expert to figure this one out. I've been facing some big changes in my life, and I'll fill you in.

First; work. And, this is a big one. As many of you know, I came to my current job over two years ago. I was recruited by the company to start the department up. Until recently, I loved my job. I felt that the company was working hard to become clinically sound, and to truly put people first in all decisions. I felt that upper management was working to shift the perspective of the company, and I was happy to be part of the shift. I loved going to work. I loved the team that I was working with. Then, sometime this spring, we got a new regional manager. He replaced our office manager with one of his golf buddies. They made it very clear that they see no value in my job- because it doesn't make enough of a profit for the company. They said it loudly, and in front of the entire office. The RM said, he'd like to eliminate the position in every office across the state. Well, that was the gust of wind, that set the stage for the impending Tornado.
Things progressed in a downward spiral from that day on. Finally, 3 weeks ago, I realized that the office I'm in, is the most unhealthy work environment I have ever been in. So, I resigned. I wanted to walk out immediately, but forced myself to be responsible, and gave a notice.

Ahh. The tornado.

I have no job lined up. I have three offers from other area agencies, to do the same job that I am doing now.But here's the truth: I don't know that I want to do it any more. And, in my career, if your heart isn't in it, then you shouldn't be doing it.

Some one asked me what my fantasy job is. It took me about a day to realize where my heart is truly at at this point in my life. The problem is, the career I want doesn't exist. At least not in this area.

So, I did some research, to determine if this area would support the career I want. And, I think it does. I drafted a letter to a local business owner, pitching my idea. He responded this week. He's been thinking along the same lines as me, and he wants to meet with me to see about joining his team!

I would be remiss if I didn't take the time to give a huge thanks to my friend/cousin Kathy, for being willing to read the letter and brainstorm with me about how to approach this idea. So, Thanks Kath! I also want to thank Ryder for taking the time to listen to me, and for walking with my while I started to sort the whole mess out in my head. And Shayna, for being so incredibly supportive of my dream. Of course, Kevin for being willing to listen to me complain about my current situation, before I got up the courage to resign. Finally, to Mary. She asked me what my dream job would be, and didn't laugh when I told her. Since then, she has sent me countless links and sources of information to help me out.

Seperate from that, I have decided to pursue getting my level one coaching certificate from USAT for Triathlon. This will be an extended process, as all the classes are full for the year. 2011 classes have not yet been posted.But, I'm doing some of the preliminary stuff to get going.

I should tell you that the dream ended with the tornado turning at the last minute, and every thing was okay. Different, from the experience; but okay.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Northern Columbia Triathlon

First, a disclaimer: The entry for my parent 50th anniversary is coming. I've had some challenges with the photos.

Race report:
August 8th was the 6th annual Northern Columbia Tri. It was the second year in a row that I competed. I knew that I was grossly unprepared for the run leg, but the race is for such a great cause, I couldn't resist entering. All proceeds from this race go to research for a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. Every one who works on this event volunteers 100% of their time.

I got to the lake at about 7:30, with a race start time of 8AM. I was in the first wave of swimmers- so all men and women from 35 to 44. That's a huge group of fast swimmers.The lake is pretty, and there aren't a lot of weeds until the end. Good news: I didn't get kicked in the head this year, and my time was a whopping 9 seconds faster than in 2009!

I knew what to expect in the transition this year. And I've learned how much a slow transition can affect your overall time. In this race, there is not transition times. Both swim to bike and bike to run transitions are included in the overall bike time.

This year I had a few successes on the bike. First, I took 8 minutes off my bike time from last year! Second, last year there were 3 hills that I had to walk a portion of. This year, I didn't walk any portion of the bike leg. I climbed all three hills. The only problem I had on the bike was that on the first major hill, my foot came out of my pedal as I was switching gears (about a 100 yards from the top). It threw me off the bike, and I lost about 3 minutes catching my breath and checking my foot that got twisted in the fall.

The run: YUCK! This is the part of this race that always makes me question my sanity. Most sprint Tri's end with a 3.1 mile run. Not this one! Oh no! That would be much to easy! The NCT finishes with a hilly 4.5 mile run! I knew that I was not prepared to run this whole race. I knew I'd need to take a few walk breaks. Really, the first 3 miles of this run are uphill. Part of it is a 7% grade. Because of my foot injuries from March, I have done minimal hill work in training. So, I told myself I'd keep this race fun, and if the run stopped being fun, I' walk.
Ummm- throwing up during a run definitely qualifies as not fun. Throwing up twice is even worse. So, I walked about 1.5 miles of the 4.5 mile run. That's less than half, but more than I wanted to walk. The other disappointing piece of this run, is that I'm pretty sure it's longer than the race lists it at. Both "Mapmyrun" and mapquest show it as 4.8 miles. Trust me, that extra .3 mile makes a significant difference after a hilly 20 mile bike ride. Overall, my run was almost 3 minutes slower than last year.

Overall- I improved my time by 5 minutes! Not bad for still having foot pain that is flaring up pretty regularly.

And today, every bone, muscle, tendon and piece of cartilage from my hips down is aching and demanding ibuprofen! I'd say it qualifies as a great race.

Next up: The 2nd Annual DACC Sprint on September 11th. As an added bonus, my 14 year old niece, Emma has voiced a desire to do the race with me! I'm excited to help her train.

Stay tuned for our adventures.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

comparison of rides

My brother in law is in town for a week. He brought his bike with him. Kevin, Paul and I took a great ride this morning. He took some great photos, so I'll let him give you a ride report. But, I used the ride as a training session for the tri. Here is the ride we did today:

In contrast, here is the bike course for the Columbia Tri!

I think I'll be okay.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Week at Lewey Lake

We rented a cabin on Lewey Lake in the Adirondacks this past week. One of the amazing things about where we live, is that we are less than 2 hours away from the Adirondack Park.
Lewey is a small lake just south of Indian Lake. I had some trepidation about this vacation, because in my snobbery, I was worried that it couldn't compare to a week on the Cape. It was not a week on the Cape, but it was great in it's own right.

First, was the fact that we were able to bring Cammie with us. She had a fantastic time. She joined us for almost every outing and adventure that we took for the week. She spent hours on the beach with us, and nights by the fire.
We had opportunities to kayak and canoe several times. Mack and Jack both love to kayak, as do I. They both put a great deal of effort into learning how to paddle and steer this week. I think that Mack is almost ready to tackle a single kayak in calm water.

Shayna was with us for a few days.

The cabin sat on top of a hill. We walked across a beautiful field and were at the small sandy beach. The kids were able to play with a tube in the water, and they loved it!

On Thursday, we went for a short hike to Auger Falls. This is listed in several hiking books a s a child friendly hike, and it proved to be worth the walk.
After our trip to the falls, we were lead back to the car by our Forest Ninjas.

All together, it was a great week!
On a side a note, not much training happened this week!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Melissa Etheridge- Fearless Love

Last night Kevin and I went to the Opening night of Melissa Etheridge's "Fearless Love" tour.

Let me preface this post by saying that I'm not a musician. I'm just a huge fan who has some thoughts about the show.

Here in Albany, Melissa fans will ask each other, "What's the first show you went to?" If you answer, "Saratoga Winners", You are considered a true fan. I'm not saying I agree with it, but it is what it is.

And, I can proudly tell you that I was at Saratoga Winners that night in 1987! I've seen her half a dozen times since then, but have skipped her shows the last few times she's been in town.

Kevin has never been to a Melissa Show. And, in fact, hasn't been to any "rock concert" (as he endearingly referred to it) since about 1990.

Okay-the show. I love the Palace. I love that there were more men than ever at this show, and that they weren't getting vibed out by most of the women.Which is amazing, since the first show I went to, there were about 3 guys there, and one of them almost got beat up for bumping into someone.

She didn't have an opening act. Just had some really funky music playing, with video of nature scenes in the background. It didn't really cut it for me. And it didn't get any one in the balcony up and on their feet by the time she hit the stage.

She opened with Fearless Love and went to Miss California. I have to admit, that if I hadn't heard an interview with her on NPR, I would never have realized that Miss California is a political statement.

She played through most of the Fearless Love album. She completely rocked the house with "Indiana", and I'm not sure she anticipated the audience response to that song. It was one of the few times during the show that I felt she was really connected to us, and completely in the moment.

She told us a few times that she's okay. I didn't particularly believe her. She was not her usual playful self. She didn't have stories between the songs, to keep us connected and engaged. It seemed that she was just moving through the set list. On one of her older songs (going blank on which one) she actually started with the second verse. She caught herself and kind of laughed- but the Melissa I've seen in the past would have really played that up.

At the end, she did "Bring me some Water: and "Like the Way I do", along with a couple of her other older songs. That got the audience going, but she never got us up on our feet. Of course, that might have something to do with the fact that much of the audience was my age or older, and that no one wanted to stand all night in 100 degree weather. Or, that so many people were trying to "capture the moment" on their iphones, that they weren't actually enjoying the moment as it was occurring.

I'm glad I went. Her voice and talent remain an incredible force to be reckoned with. She plays that Ovation so effortlessly, it tricks you into thinking it's easy.I felt like she needed us last night, that she was drawing on us for strength and comfort. And you know what. I'm happy to give back to her. She's certainly pulled me through many heartaches over the years.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Jack's Fourth Birthday!

My little guy turned four today! It's been a super fun day for all of us. I'll tell the story primarily through pictures.

6:30 AM- Gift opening time.
Shayna gave him a singing card, that started the day off with all of us laughing.
Mack gave him a baseball bat and glove.

11 AM- Taking part in the 9th annual Hospice Community Walk.
12 PM- The Refrigerators were on stage entertaining the walkers. The kids were thrilled to see Daddy play.
4PM- friends were over for birthday cake and ice cream.

It's been a great day. Jack was asleep by 6:30 tonight. Tomorrow we have part two of the celebrations planned. We're heading up to the lake for the day. Stay tuned for more photos.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Week in Review, and New Goals

I met almost all of last weeks goals! I missed the third bike ride due to weather and the need for new brakes on my van.

So, here's the break down of how my week went:

Sunday: Bike 25 minutes-Done
Monday: Swim 17 minutes. Pool run 15 minutes- Done-did a 17 min swim/20 min pool run/ 30 min walk
Tuesday: walk/run 20 minutes-done. 22 min walk
Wednesday: Bike- Krumkill rd (hills)- rained all day. SO I did 30 minutes on the trainer.
Thursday: Swim 20 minutes-Made Thursday a rest day. On friday I did 15 min swim and a 20 min pool run.
Saturday: Bike Long ride. Missed.. Rain and car issues prevented this ride.

Over all, I'm pretty happy with the effort of last week. I have no way of gauging if I'm made much progress. Every time I want to slow down, I think of the first hill on the NC bike course. That usually keeps me going.

Looking ahead, here's the plan for this coming week:

3 Rides: 1 trainer, 1 hills, 1 long
2 pool runs
2 swims

I'm not quite sure how I'll fit it all in,because Kevin is gigging on 3 nights this week. But I'll try my best.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Registration Complete!

I took a few minutes this morning and signed up for the Northern Columbia Tri

There's no going back now!

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Tri Goal

I've been on the fence about my tri goals for this year. I've been hesitant to sign up for anything, because of the foot issues. Usually, by this time of the year, I've signed up for at least one race, and have been actively following a training plan. Well, it's June 7th, and not a single race organization has got a dime out of me.
Fleet Feet of Albany hasn't made any profit off me in months. No new shoes. No new tri shorts, no Chocolate GU's....nothing.

It's time for me to do my part and help our economy along.

I was out for a walk this morning. Yes, I've become one of those early morning walker women.been reduced to morning walks. I miss my morning runs. But, I digress.

I was walking this morning. Thinking about the races I've been considering. Thinking about what I really want my goal to be. And, I realized, I don't want to sit on the bench this season. I want to be on the course. Specifically, I want to be on the course for the Northern Columbia Tri. How do I make that happen? The answer is amazingly simple.

I focus on the bike leg. It's so simple, I don't know why I didn't think of it before. I've been so focused on getting the clearance to run, that I neglected the biking option. Focusing on the bike leg is a beautiful thing! So, starting this week I'll be biking 3 times a week. My training week will be built around the 3 bikes: 1 long, 1 Hill workout, and 1 random with no focus but to build time in the saddle.

As of yesterday, there are 8 weeks until the race.
Here is this weeks plan:
Sunday: Bike 25 minutes
Monday: Swim 17 minutes. Pool run 15 minutes
Tuesday: walk/run 20 minutes
Wednesday: Bike- Krumkill rd (hills)
Thursday: Swim 20 minutes
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Bike Long ride

Get ready for some Tri focused posts!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Life has Been Busy

So, what has kept me away from the blog?
Hmmm. First, there is end of the school year chaos to be contended with. Shayna came home from New Paltz a couple of weeks ago. We love that she is home, but the transition always requires some time and attention. Mack has had field trips and concerts, and still has homework. Jack is lovable Jack, rolling along with everything that comes his way.
Then, there is the weather! We've had gorgeous weather here! The pool has been open since the first week of May, and we've been using it. The kids have been in almost daily for the past 2 weeks!
Third, Kevin's schedule and the affects that has on the rest of the family. His school year hasn't ended yet. SO, he continues to have teaching responsibilities. On top of that, he's been gigging extensively. Sometimes 3 or 4 gigs a week. That's a lot of time to be out of the house. And, a huge amount of tasks thrown on to my list, in addition to all the things I do in a normal week.
Finally, my foot. Geeze Louise, will this ever get resolved! I had an MRI done 2 weeks ago, and met with Doc H. this past Friday. The stress fracture has healed. However, the MRI found a second issue that neither of us were expecting. I have bruising of the Talus bone, with significant swelling.

I didn't associate the pain as radiating from that point, but once Doc H. saw the report, he indicated it makes sense that the nerve pain is stemming from that swelling.
So, I was instructed to go buy new shoes for work- most of mine have a strap across the top of the foot that is probably irritating everything. And, again I was told no running (except in the pool) for 2 weeks. Frustrating, to say the least.

But hey....I still have AQUA JOGGING! I try to say it with enthusiasm... sort of the AA philosophy of "fake it til you make it." I'll let you know if it works.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Things that Made me Happy this weekend:

1. Reading the Sunday paper on my back porch.
2. Celebrating birthdays.
3. Gardening with Mack and Jack.
4. Finding a great new children's book.
5. Talking to my sister.
6. An outside bike ride.
7. Hearing Mack say, "Mommy, will you go for a bike ride with me?"
8. Hearing Jack say, "Mommy, will you go for a run with me?"
9. Hearing Shayna say, "I'm coming home this weekend."
10. Watching my Dad play with his grandchildren.
11. Hearing Kevin play his sax.
12. A walk with my Mom.
13. A trip to the flower market- with my closest friend.

I have to admit, it's been a pretty awesome weekend. How about you?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I Did It!

I went to the Y tonight with the intention of swimming and doing 20 minutes on the elliptical. But, when I got there, they were having a synchronized swim practice. Ughh! that is the most annoying thing to have to deal with. So, I opted out of the swim.

Went straight upstairs to the elliptical and did that for 15 minutes. I stopped to take a minute and assess how my foot was feeling. It felt great.

At that point, my determination kicked in, and I moved to a treadmill.

You guessed it...I ran!

Okay, it was a 5 minute warm up walk. 4 minute run. 3 min walk. 3 minute run. 3 min walk 2 min run. Then a 2 minute cool down.
22 minutes all together. 9 minutes of running. Which is just under a mile at the pace I was going!

This morning, I feel great!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A day with Shayna

A few weeks ago Kevin took the kids down to New Paltz to see Shayna. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the day.

And, here's one. Just to see if Shayna is actually reading the blog!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Long Overdue Update

Well, there's good news and not-so-good news. Isn't that the way it usually is?

The not-so-good news: Let's get that out of the way first.
I still do not have clearance to run. It's going to be at least a couple of more weeks. This is extremely frustrating for me.
At this point, I'm having to rethink my ability to race the Northern Columbia Tri in early August. I'm not sure how ready I'll be.

The good news:
I have clearance to bike, and have been taking advantage of the opportunity. I loaned my Coda to a friend, so I put the Fuji on the trainer. It's been great! It is a fairly different feel from the Coda, and I'm using leg muscles in a different way than I do with the Coda.

The waterproof case for the IPod has been a life saver! It works great, and it makes my pool running much more palatable. So, a couple of times a week, I've been hitting 25 minute pool running sessions.

My swim is improving. Last night, I hit 2:30/100 yard for a 600 yard swim. That's about 10 seconds/ 100 faster than my usual times. It's not even close to competitive- but really? Who am I kidding? I'm lucky to not need arm floaties!

So, in the now immortal words of Dorie: I'll "Just keep swimming"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sometimes, it's the little things.

Last night was the meeting of "Bookin' Feet". We had a pretty big group of girls this week, and the weather was beautiful. The challenge for me was to find a place where they could run for some distance, and I could stand in the middle and see both ends. We found a hill in the park that is about .10 of a mile long. The goal for them was to run down and back as many times as possible.
We started with some warm up exercises, and two of the girls seemed very uninterested in participating. They were dancing and being fairly inappropriate for being in a park. So, I called them on it pretty quickly. I asked the one girl flat out, "Why are you here?" She didn't have much of an answer, but her whole attitude changed. Girl # 2 tends to follow the first girl. When girl #1 isn't at the group, girl 2, is a great runner. SO, I told her that. She came around pretty quickly too.

Then the real run! Those two girls both ran a mile! Another girl ran 1.2, and another did 1.4!! There were 2 other girls, who each ran about .5 of a mile, but I don't think either one was feeling well.

At the end of the run, I pulled out 4x6 note cards and wrote:
[name] ran 1 mile today!
And, half of it was uphill!

It was such a little thing. But, you know what: Each of those girls held onto those cards for the rest of the day. They showed their parents when they were picked up, and 2 said they were taking them in to show their PE teachers.

Sometimes, it's the little things that make all the difference.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Feelin Groovy

My foot is still kicking my Arse! I have clearance to swim and do pool running. Let me tell ya, pool running is about as fun as going to the dentist. Okay, it's not quite that bad. But, it's not so great. I did purchase a waterproof case for my I-pod and sprang for the 2 day shipping. So, that will be here on Tuesday, and it should make the whole thing better.

I'll let you know how it works.

In the work world, I've had a great week. It started with a three day NYS TBI conference for all the clinical directors and Program Managers in the state. We were joined by our state director, three regional directors and the VP of clinical services in the northeast. The information covered during the conference was fantastic. I felt like it was the best, most productive conference I've been to in a long time. My colleague and I returned to our office with some great ideas for how to improve the quality of care that we offer. We met yesterday and developed our list of goals and our plans to address them.
This afternoon I forwarded the list to my office mates and our 4 supervisors who had organized the conference. Within 15 minutes, all 4 supervisors responded to the email with incredibly positive feedback. Within 30 minutes, the VP of the company had been sent the email, and responded to our office!
I'm so proud of this. In a national organization that provides health care services, it's pretty amazing to realize that we've put together some plans that are being recognized as "Stellar" by the VP. It was a great way to end the week!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bookin Feet Part 2

A few weeks I wrote about Bookin Feet, the group I created for Girls, Inc. in town. I think it's time for an update.

We've been meeting weekly, and it's been awesome! We've been continuing to read "Sahara's Special" and the girls seem to enjoy it. The group can be as big as 7 girls on some weeks, but there are 4 girls that are there every time, and seem to really love running and reading. The fluctuation of attendance has made the reading a little difficult. The books stay at Girl's Inc for the week,so if some one misses a week, they've missed at least a chapter. I'd love to find a sponsor to purchase a book for each of the girls. Then, they could have it when we're done with the group.

They can now run .8 of a mile with out walking! Since we only meet once a week, I think that's pretty good. Many of the girls live in area's of the city that prohibit them from going out to play and run around safely. That means, they only get to exercise at school and during our sessions. As the weather is getting nicer, we'll be able to spend more time outside. That should help us improve our distances.

I love the enthusiasm these girls show. This past week it was raining, windy, and about 40 degrees out. As soon as I walked in the door, they were begging to go outside and run!So we did!Well, they ran. My foot is still broken, so I cheered them on, and kept time for them.

This week, I'm researching some area 5k's that are scheduled for around the end of our session. Next step, for me to contact a few of the races, and see if they will let the girls run for free. Wish me luck on that!

I've created a Facebook group. In the hopes of branching out and finding some people who might want to volunteer time, or purchase books, or help cover the cost of T-shirts for the race. Check it out and join!

Hey- it never hurts to dream!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Digging Deep

I've been spending time trying to pull some positives out of this forced time off from training. It hasn't been easy, and I'm not finding a lot of positives. But, I am learning some things about myself.
Here are a few of those things:
1. My lifestyle is pretty darned active.
In contrast, Most people my age are not as active as me. Therefore, they don't get why this is a big deal.
2. My kids are pretty darn active.
But,they are content to hang with me and watch a movie in the evening.
3. I have a hard time sitting down to watch a movie.
Even with my kids.
when I'm not injured, I never actually sit when a movie is on.
4. I like coaching/ working with preteen girls.
I've continued to work with the Girl's Inc group that I started. And, it's been great. The girls are fun, and like pushing themselves to run a little better every week.
5. I am not a patient person, when the patience is needed for myself.
I want my foot to be better. Non. I want to be running and biking. Now.
In contrast, I am very patient with the people I work with.
6. I think like a runner/biker.
When I'm driving, I am generally assessing my route in reference to what type of run/bike course it would be. I never really noticed this until now. Probably because it's coupled with the frustration of knowing that I can't run or bike.

That's it for now.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Answers for the Foot Mystery

Saturday I did a scheduled bike ride. It was a high intensity workout to get a sense of lactation thresh hold- meaning that the purpose of the workout was to go so hard that I wanted to hurl. It was awesome! I averaged 5mph faster than my normal workout- and maintained it for 30 minutes. By the time I finished, I could barely walk. My quads were screaming for a break.My knees ached. My feet throbbed. Even Jack and Mack thought I looked and smelled disgusting:)

I showered, and got dressed to go to my Great Uncle Pete's memorial service (More on that later) I popped a few ibuprofen and went on my way.

Then, later that night, I was sitting on the couch with the kids. I flexed my foot, and something snapped. It sent my foot into immediate muscle spasms, with swelling and a bruise. I iced it, took ibuprofen and elevated it right away. But, I ended up crying myself to sleep with the pain.
Sunday morning the pain and swelling were worse. I waited for urgent care to open, and headed over there for some Xrays. Those showed nothing. The Dr. thought I probably ruptured a tendon. So, she wrapped my foot, gave me crutches and a post-op shoe and instructions to follow up with Ortho.

I woke up this morning, and again the swelling and pain were worse. Despite the fact that my drill sarg...I mean really supportive husband made sure that I iced every 20 minutes, and didn't get off the couch all day.
I managed to get in to ortho this afternoon. This is one of the Dr's who consults with the NY Giants when they are in town for spring training. So, I know he's good. Before I even let him look at my foot, we talked about my lifestyle. I told him that it's important he understands that I'm not a 40 year old soccer mom, who's main goals are to wear cute shoes, and shop in the mall all day.
More xrays ensued. Then a diagnosis. Stress fracture with possible tendon damage. Now, I am in this lovely piece of DME:

I'm looking at 2 weeks in this beautiful piece of hardware. I can try swimming in a week, but nothing before that.When I looked frustrated by the news, the Dr said, "of course, if you want to change your personal goals, and just go shopping for some cute shoes, we can treat this much less conservatively."
He does not play fair!

I think the worst part about this, is that the bike ride I had that day was such a high. I got off the bike that day, knowing that if I could maintain that pace in a race, I'd be placing significantly higher in my races this year.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

No foot injury is ever straight forward for me.

I've been having some pretty extreme foot pain for the past 3 weeks. Wakes me up in the middle of the night sometimes, and if I touch the top of my foot in the right spots; Well, it's excruciating!

But, it doesn't hurt when I run. (Figure that out). So, I finally went to the Dr yesterday. Of course, he took one look at it and said, "hmmm. This is weird, and way out of my league. I'm sending you to a specialist." He sent me for some xrays to rule out an occult fracture...results still pending. Hopefully, I'll get in to see the Podiatrist this week.

In the meantime, my running volume is going to be cut way down.

Oh well, if it was straight forward, it wouldn't be my foot :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Week in Review

First, I got 5 days of training in! That's the first time I've done that in a long time.
I hit 199 minutes of training. The goal was 318 minutes, so I'm still not close, but I'm okay with that, and I'll explain why in a little while. I did increase volume by 62 minutes from the previous week, which is significant.
I have 2 concerns when I look at the week. First, I didn't swim at all. It's not a huge deal in terms of the long term goal, but I should be getting in the pool at least once a week. Second, I experienced some sensitivity to touch on the top of my foot. It doesn't hurt to walk, run or bike. But, if even the sheets brushed over the top of my foot, I woke up in pain. And, the last time I did swim, the water pressure hurt during kicks. I'm hoping that it is related to some shoe issues, and will easily resolve itself.

Now, why aren't I worried about missing my training minute goals? 2 reasons. First, I made conscious decisions through out this week, to put my family first on several occasions. It's what I needed/wanted to do. So instead of scrambling to try to make up the missed minutes, I let them go. Second, I am loosely following a Beginner Triathlete 20 week plan for an Oly distance. But for the swim and run, that is over training for what I need.
My "A-list" race is the Northern Columbia Sprint Tri. However, this is not a traditional sprint distance race. The swim is a 1/4 mile. That's standard for a sprint. But the bike is 19.5 miles, which is closer to Oly distance. And the run... The run is a grueling 4.5 with about 3 of it all uphill. Last year, the run killed me!
So, given that the bike and run are in between sprint/Oly distances, there is no real training plan specific to me. If I chose a sprint distance training plan, I will be woefully under prepared. If I follow the oly plan, I have room to not make all my planned minutes each week.

What's up for this week?
3 runs totaling 11 miles. That should be about 110 minutes.
2 bikes, totaling 155 minutes.
1 swim, totaling 30 minutes.

That's it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bookin' Feet

I've been keeping a secret.

Now I'm pretty sure my sister is jumping up and down, shouting, "YOU'RE PREGNANT!"

NO! That's not it.

I've been working on a project for a few months now, and it's finally up and running!

In my career, I often work with women who have really had a rough life. Many times, I've met a woman and realized that she has had so much trauma in her life, prior to her injury, that the recovery process is going to be long and difficult.It makes me angry. As I get to know these women, I realize that from the time they were little girls they've been belittled, put down, demoralized, and some times horrifically abused. That's a lot for any woman to get through. Now, add in all the cognitive and behavioral challenges that can occur with a brain injury, and the struggles can seem almost insurmountable. Often I think, "if some one had paid attention when she was a kid,Maybe she'd have a chance now." It's a thought that has haunted me for a long time. A feeling that we need to invest more energy on our children.

Then, back in the early summer, I started to develop an idea. A concept that combines two things I love. Two things that helped me get through tough times in my life. Reading and running. I started to try to figure out how I could work with young girls, combining those 2 activities, to help girls build their self esteem, find a voice, and increase their self confidence.

The idea: To meet weekly with a group of girls, in 4th through 6th grade. We would use a book with a strong girl as the main character. Each week, our time would be broken into 3 segments.
Warm up games/discussion focusing on a specific theme in the book.
Training- some running and walking. Focusing on getting stronger with the ultimate goal of running a 5K.
Cool down/discussion of how our lives are similar to the characters, or how the book relates to our life.

I met with a woman from the local chapter of "Girls Inc" last fall, and pitched my loosely formed idea to her. She loved it. And "Bookin'Feet" was born! I spent time scouring the library for books with girls as the main characters, who are strong in the face of adversity.

The program started 3 weeks ago at our local Girls' inc!

There are 8 girls in this pilot group. I chose the book "Saharra's Special" This week, we will use the book to talk about labels. We'll explore the idea of "Good/bad" labels. I want to expose them to a few concepts:
First, to challenge the idea of "Good and Bad" and suggest the ideas of healthy and unhealthy.
Second, I want to get them to begin to question if any label is actually healthy, or are they all detrimental on some level.
For the cool down, I will ask them about labels other people have put on them, and labels they put on themselves. Is there a difference between the 2 lists? And, how do the labels affect their behaviors and what people expect of them.

I'm so excited to be developing this program. My hope is that we can find a volunteer to expand the program to the Schenectady branch next year.

I have to add a special thanks to my daughter, Shayna. She has been my sounding board through out the planning phase of this project. She's helped me brainstorm for a name, and has listened to my curriculum ideas. She's been supportive and enthusiastic, and has kept me going. Thanks Shay!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Training Woes

Man, I've been struggling with getting all my workouts in!
Last week, I was scheduled to do 2 bikes, 3 runs and 2 swims. For a total of 288 minutes of training.
I managed:
2 runs, 1 bike and 1 swim. for a total of 137 minutes. OUCH! Geez Louise- that's not good. So, I took a look at what happened, and here is what I discovered:
1.In the training plan I'm following, Sunday is a long day, with a bike and a swim. I missed both last week.
2. The long swim was scheduled to be 40 minutes. There's no way I can do 40 minutes of swimming right now. I'm just not there.
3. I missed a run. No excuses- I just didn't commit to it.

This is what I'm thinking:
1.I'm following an oly plan right now. But, this might not be the year to tackle that. I might have to drop back to sprint training, because of time commitments and constraints.
2.If I do follow through with the Oly training, I will have to accept that I will always be under the scheduled training minutes, because of the swim issue.
3. Unlike most people, the weekends don't work for my long training sessions. Kevin is much too busy on the weekends, and I just cant fit in a 2 hour training session.
4. Even though I only did 137 minutes last week, it's still more than I've done in the past month. So, from a perspective of injury prevention, jumping to 288 minutes last week would have been foolish.
5. Not related to tri training- but it looks like the 1/2 mary I heard was going to be organized for April, isn't going to happen. So, that makes things a bit easier.

I'll see how this week goes, and if I can identify other trends, then make a decision about how to proceed. And, Once Kevin gets settled into the new band, life should get easier.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Weekend update

The "Hope for Hannah" black tie affair that I attended with Kevin the other night was fantastic. This was a fund raising event to support research looking for a cure for GAN. Which is a rare genetic neurological disorder. Almost nothing is known about this disease. Hannah's parents started this organization to fund research looking for treatment. We took separate cars, because he had a second gig later in the night, which I chose not to go to.
The preparations for the evening were almost as much fun as the event itself. Shayna came home for the weekend to help me get ready, and to babysit. We went dress shopping, and I had great luck finding this little black dress and the shoes to go with it:

On Saturday, I spent much time pulling all the little details of the outfit together. Shayna did my hair for me. It was much more refined than I generally wear it.
This was Kevin's second official gig with the Refrigerators. All I can say, is what an awesome band! They sound great and have fantastic attitudes. I met several of the wives, and they were all very welcoming to me.

And, at the end of the night, Dexter joined in the fun. He looked quite handsome wearing my bracelet as a crown.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Conversation at Work

Sitting in our freezing office, I had this exchange with my coworker:
Me: "If you really want to get warm, go use the ladies room on the next floor. It's like 85 degrees in there."
"How do you know that?"
"Sometimes I use that bathroom so that I can run up a flight of stairs to get my heart rate going."

"You need help." With a look of total disbelief on her face.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Getting up to Speed

Update time:
After three auditions, Kevin was offered the job I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Now that he is officially in, i can tell you that he'll be playing with The Refrigerators! These guys are awesome! And it will be a fun opportunity for him. This Saturday I am going with him to the black tie fundraiser that is on their home page. I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little nervous about going to a black tie event. I mean really, what the heck am I supposed to wear?

Shay is back at school, safe and having fun. The kids miss her. Especially Jack, and in the past he hasn't missed her very much. But, every day he tells me the story of when he was "Borning" and he was crying and cold and the only person at the hospital with him was Shayna, and she held him and kissed him and he stopped crying. Because she loves him the best. That's his story, and he's sticking to it.

Mack just received 2 "Student of Character" awards at school. The assembly was today, and my mom was able to go.

My trip to Tampa was fun. I learned quite a bit about the company: it's history and the vision of our new management team. Plus, I got to play beach volleyball for an afternoon!

Although I haven't chosen a half marathon yet, I've started the training this week. Hopefully I'll find something nearby.

That's it for now. More to tell, but I'm tired. So, it'll wait for another day.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Swimming Progress

Back in November I received a copy of "The Essential Triathlon Swimming" DVD from Tri swim coach Kevin Koskella.
I've finally had time to really watch the video a couple of times, and get in the pool to try out the drills.

Last night I went to the Y with the kids. It was the perfect time to try a few things out. I'm here to tell ya- I expect to see some serious improvement in my swim, if I work my way through the video. Thanks Kevin!
Stay tuned for an update in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Movin and Shakin

A few big things have been happening around here. Let me see if I can bring y'all up to speed.
First, Kevin has been asked to audition with a premiere funk band in the area. His audition is this Wednesday, so he's been crankin on the tunes- getting ready. Not to mention, he's spent some time improving his stage image. Shhhh...don't tell him I told you, but he even got his eyebrows waxed! He looks Fantastic! Stay tuned for the results of the audition.

Shay has been getting ready to head back to school this weekend. So, she and the kids have been spending every possible minute together. She's pretty psyched to be going back.

Plus, I have a conference in Tampa that I have to go to from this Thursday through Sunday. It's amazing how much effort it takes to go out of town. We had a conference call today, during which we were told to dress Business casual for the whole weekend. Well, that's a problem for me. I'm supposed to dress that way all the time, but I definately push the envelope into "casual" often. I mean, I'm doing home visits all week long. Sometimes in not so great neighborhoods. So, I'm not kidding when I say that I have to wear shoes and clothes that I can run in if I need to. It's only happened twice in the past 10 years, I promise Mom! Anyway, this meant that I had to go buy some new clothes. I'm never great at buying new clothes, especially when it's under pressure. But, I had great luck today! I found the best dress! And some awesome black boots! I love black boots. I'd have 5 pairs if it wouldn't give poor Kev a heart attack.

Finally: training. I got in the pool last week for the first time since October. I'm hoping I'll be able to swim while in Florida. The hotel web site says their outdoor pool is heated-so we'll see. I've been running 3 times a week pretty consistently. And..And this is exciting...I'm seriously considering running a 1/2 marathon in April! I'm spending some time looking at some training plans and seeing if I can make the time commitment, and make them work with my tri training. The general opinion of the people in my BT mentoring group, is that it is doable. If you have any thoughts or opinions about this, I'd love to hear them!
Okey Dokey- That's it for tonight.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"You're Fat!"

"you're fat!"

That is what one of the boys in Mack's class told her on friday. I found out this morning, because she didn't want to go to school today.

All children are teased at some point, so I've been preparing myself for the day that I would have to console her and help her through something hurtful that some one has said. To be honest, I expected her to be teased about the way she dresses, or her hair. That would make sense. I mean, she wears boys underwear, for goodness sake!
Yet, she has never been teased about her clothes. In fact, the whole class came to her defense earlier this year when a substitute teacher was unkind to her.

How do 6 and 7 year old boys get so mean about weight? How do they know that it is one of the surest ways to cut someone down? So, here is my skinny (and I mean I can count her ribs through her shirt skinny), little 7 year old standing in front of a mirror, questioning her body image.

Ultimately, I guess I'm glad it happened at such a young age, when what her family thinks and says is still more important than what that boy thinks. Now, I know the reality of what girls are up against. Somehow, I was hoping it had changed in the past 10 years. But it hasn't.
Now, we can tackle this head on, and we will. The first thing I did, was send an email to her teacher. He is fantastic, and I'm sure that he will address the issue with the class in a gentle and nonjudgmental way. At home, we will continue to talk about healthy choices, and how to deal with meanness in general.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Etiquette for New Gym Members

The alternate title for this post is:
"Hey, All you Clueless New Years Resolutionists: Learn some Gym Etiquette!"
Let me start by saying, I understand and accept that the gym is going to be extremely busy in January. I try to be patient with all the new people. After all, at some point in the past most of us started working out because of a resolution we made to ourselves. I joined the gym several years ago to use the pool. My foot had a chronic injury and I needed to find a new type of exercise that I could do. I am very aware that I was clueless about pool etiquette at that time. But, I asked questions. OF every one! I asked lifeguards, and other swimmers, and general staff. You get the point.

I wish my gym would have a letter or post basic etiquette up for beginners to read.This is where I would start:

In the Locker room:
1. There is one bench for 20 lockers. Therefore, it would stand to reason, that said bench is not there for your use exclusively. Please share.
2. If you drag hair on the shower walls, clean it up when you leave the shower.
3. Put some clothes on! There is really no need to blow dry your hair completely naked.
4. If you track mud into the locker room, grab a paper towel and clean it up.
5. The sign that says, "Children are not allowed in the Woman's changing room." Is referring to all children. Your "adorable" 7 year old son does not belong in the woman's locker room.

The Pool:
1. Children do not belong in the lap lanes. I don't care how adorable you think they are.
2. Look at yourself in the mirror before you leave the locker room. If your bathing suit is see through- we don't want to see you!
3. Please don't dive into my lap lane from the deep end. There's no guarantee that I saw you enter my lane.
4. That sign that says "Please shower before entering the pool" Means YOU!

The Fitness Center:
1. Cell phones don't belong in the gym.
2. If you are standing on a treadmill, Use the treadmill.
3. This one is for your own safety: If you are so out of breath that you have to jump onto the side bars of the treadmill, while it keeps going, you're going too fast.
4. It's not cool to drop the free weights, so hard that it gives me a heart attack on the treadmill.

That's it for now. If you are a gym member, I'm sure you have your own list.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It has been an incredibly busy few weeks for me. Getting ready for, and celebrating Christmas is a whirlwind of activity. I love it, but it has kept me away from blogging; both writing one and reading others.
Now that it's January 2nd, things should begin to quiet down.
Christmas was fantastic! Santa brought the family a great gift. Well, it's really for Kevin, Mack and Jack. I have fun watching and listening to them!

We also have a new firefighter in the house!

And of course, while the drums were being put together, Mack and Jack played with the box the set came in; despite having many new toys unwrapped and waiting for them.

As for me, the kids and Kevin gave me a beautiful silver bracelet, a gift certificate for a massage, and swim lessons at my "Y"! I also got new slippers from Shayna- I love new slippers!

Now, it's time to think about 2010 and perhaps setting a few goals for the new year!