Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Everyone Else Does, So I Guess I Should Too

It's New Years Eve - a day people look back at the year, look forward to the future, and tend to drink a lot. A lot of other blogs I read are doing end of the year wraps ups, so I guess I should too.

Expect I don't like doing that. There are some things in 2008 that were amazing. Mainly, my Ironman. I accomplished something I never really thought I could do. I learned how extremely lucky I am to be surrounded by so many amazing family and friends who support me during the hard times as well as the good. The year overall is a bit of a blur; just a lot of swim, bike, run, work, eat, sleep - repeat over and over again.

Somewhere in all that repeating, or in the 3 months after, something changed. I got tired of feeling helpless, slightly lost, down on issues, and feeling like I had to control everything. Somewhere I remembered that I have choices. There's a whole lot I can not control, and it's hard and it sucks. But there is a lot I can control, and it's about focusing on those choices.

So in a lot of ways, I don't want to look back at 2008. I can't change it; there are somethings I would like to re-do, but it's a waste to even think it because it won't happen. There are also things that were amazing, once in a lifetime experiences. But overall, I am choosing to focus on 2009. Let things happen as they will, learn from previous experiences and make my choices to the best of my ability.

2009 - the year of choices.

Have a wonderful, safe and fun night!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Have a lot going on"

Sometimes this is a good, meaningful statement.
Example #1 - "Hey, I haven't heard from you in awhile."
Response - "Yeah, I have had a lot going on, sorry."
Example #2 - "Where is that project you were supposed to have on my desk!?!?!"
Response - "Sorry, I have a lot going on with..."

Other times, it's not something you want to hear
"Well, you have terrible plantar fasciitis, a really bad heel spur, an irritated bunion, swollen and sprained ankle - you have a lot going on" as an explanation for all the pain in my right foot. Not good, just not good.

This is how my morning started at the foot doctor. They did a plaster molding thing of both feet that made me feel I was back in 4th grade art class (and this picture is almost exactly the way it looked).

Hopefully the inserts that will be custom built and arrive in 2-3 weeks, will help. Otherwise, I am not sure what other options I have left.

And I TOTALLY should have asked to keep the molds.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Stupid "Why Not" Decisions

NOTE - pretend this was posted yesterday, December 28. Thanks

Today was one of those days where you are so glad to live in a city that can be 60 degrees in December. Not much sun and a big chance of rain, but 60 degrees!! Wonderful to not be cold.

I couldn't let the day drift away without being outside; so I laced up my shoes and headed to Rock Creek Park to check out some trails I always wanted to see.
I won't say it was hiking - some of you may remember my last attempt at hiking, but I would call it walking on trails that involved a lot of uphills but no rock scrambling. I dragged Adam along with me to check out some of these trails and decided to picked one with green marks. Once we stumbled upon the Nature Center, we grabbed some maps and plotted our course.

Again, it was a beautiful day, some blue sky at times, so we figured why not do the entire park. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Once we got to Maryland at the Boundry Bridge (see map on left - notice the Start/End I pointed out and where Maryland is located and where the park meets MD...) and had to walk back, I was kind of wondering that "why not" decision.
But, it felt really good to be outside and exercise. I haven't done that much in a long time. It was 8+ miles with more uphill than down (which I know isn't possible when you start and stop at the same point but it really feels more uphill!!).

And this was celebrated by a very long wait for a pizza delivery of "The Natural" - which was actually pretty good. Or I was really hungry.

Way Better Than Expected

NOTE - Please pretend this was posted on Saturday, Dec. 27. Thanks.

My flight back to DC this morning wasn't too bad expect for the fact it was way early, and I was leaving G-Dale. I wanted to see a few more people, but just ran out of time. Given the weather (snow, rain, fog, ice...) I was very lucky to have as few problems getting in and out of town as I did.

So got home and threw in a movie. Now my parents are always really good with gifts and throw in some funny/cute stuff. One of them was the movie Ironman. Now you may recall, I was boycotting the movie. I hated the fact (and still kind of do) that when I Google search Ironman, the first (and majority) of posts and images are from the movie. BOO!!

Anyway, I of course didn't tell Mom and Dad this (they know now...) thanked them and decided to give it a chance.
Let me tell you - it's a good movie. WAY better than expected!! Funny, fast moving, decent story line (it doesn't take much with me). I am really glad they got it for me and will definitely watch again.

I only wish they would have somehow worked in a joke about swimming/biking/running for 140.6 miles.

Maybe in the sequel.

Friday, December 26, 2008


That is the only word to describe the past few days. Okay, there are a few other words as well, it being Christmas and all, but that really is the main word. Last year I was so good about my eating and going to the gym. I was in training, my race was 9 months away. Now, my race was almost 4 months ago and the phrase "letting myself go" is an understatement. I brought my stuff home to go to the Y and it never made it out of my suitcase.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change a thing! My favorite G-Dale places to eat. My mom's wonderful gooey caramel fudge brownies. Brunch with The Girls at our place. Lots of wine... Ummm... But it's getting a bit out of control. I am getting winded going up a flight of stairs - just not good.

Tomorrow I head back to DC. It was a short trip home, but a good one. Hopefully I can get to the store, buy good (healthy) food and start the new year off right!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas had a wonderful day. And those of you who don't, I hope you also had a great day.

FYI - it was minus 2 degrees when I woke up and think there was a high of 15. No, I didn't go outside. Not at all. And to those of you who told me it was 55, 60, or 85 - I would say really mean things right now but it's Christmas and I am in the Christmas spirit.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My New Ride

What do you think?? Don't I look cute!?!?!
It is a dark pink/maroon Harley!! I saw it and was drawn to my new bike. Not that I would ever think of leaving Blain :-)

I did learn that Harley Davidson did make bicycles at one point in time. Look, I even took a picture. I love my Cervelo, but if Harley went back to making bikes, I would probably pick one up. Just to be bad ass.

I am obviously home in G-dale. Pretty lucky, only a 2 and a half hour delay yesterday. I know a lot of people who were much worse off. Today we (I) did last minute Christmas shopping and headed off to the Harley Davidson museum. It was pretty interesting.

I hope you all have a very wonder Christmas eve - for those of you who celebrate! To the rest of you, happy December 24th!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

That Felt Good

Woo-Hoo!! VACATION!! Today is my first day of vacation and I am slowly getting ready to head home. I am excited to see my parents, however not excited for the 20 degree weather. NOT FUN! And apparently there are 20 foot tall snow piles. Great....

Anyway, today started out well with something I haven't done in along time. My A.M. Yoga! It felt really good - I forgot how good it feels to start the day in this way. And it's not long - 20 minutes, so there really aren't any excuses. It also made me realize how tight my hip flexors, hamstrings, calves are... Eek, not good. Very tight, slightly painful - but all in the good way.

Off to pack long underwear and sweaters!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Zoo Lights!

Last night Arin took advantage of his Smithsonian discount and got tickets to Zoo Lights for M.E., Diane and I. Unfortunately a few others couldn't make it but the four of us had a great time. And a side note - CONGRATULATIONS BROOKE AND SHANE!!! (Hope it's okay I just did that...)

Now you may be wondering why I keep blogging about things that don't involve working out. If you are wondering this, you have never been to the National Zoo. One word describes the zoo. It's not panda (although they are super cute and we really want another baby panda), or animals, but HILLS. So I am counting yesterdays stroll through Zoo Lights as a workout.

Today - I have no excuse. I couldn't get out of bed to workout in the morning, went to lunch instead of the gym and packing/cleaning tonight before my flight tomorrow. I need to start making better choices as my belt is no longer fitting where it was... not good, not good.

Anyway, tomorrow's high in G-Dale - 27, a heatwave considering today's high was 6. Yup, I am so NOT working out outside, but hopefully will make it to the Y a few times. Wish me warm!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Ran... But Now I Can't Walk


This morning I got up to meet up with Jess on her run. She started early and I said I would join her for the second half. After not running much, I wasn't up for 8, but figured I could handle 4. Well, as we were trotting along, all felt fine. We had a decent run and managed to stay warm (even though it was 40 and I have friends in MN who are running in 0 degree weather).

After the run we grabbed some bagels and coffee. Right next store was Georgetown Cupcake, so of course we stopped by for a few. After a mishap with my order, I had 2 lemon berry and a vanilla chocolate. I wasn't a fan of them the last time but always willing to try again. Honestly, still not a fan. I am very happy my favorite cupcake place, Hello Cupcake, is much closer. Oh, and if anyone cares, my FAVORITE is the Princess cupcake, vanilla with strawberry frosting :-)

Anyway, after some stretching, weights, sit-ups and a shower, I took a nap. I just woke up, went to get off the couch and almost fell over. I guess my foot isn't better as I hoped. My next appointment is the 30th and hopefully we can figure something out.

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Type of Holiday Health Information

It's a pretty slow day today at work. Actually, I have done a surprisingly large amount of work for no one being in the office.
However, I also have about 817 e-mail conversations going on. Diane just sent this to M.E., Brooke, and myself. LOVE IT!!!

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of y our recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!! .... Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Q: Is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape!

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Taking a Tour is a Workout

Today I took off of work early to go with Charles and Carol to check out the new visitor center at The Capital. Charles gives tours and I was really excited when he set up the afternoon. We were able to sneak away from the group and Charles gave us tour, and even let me interrupt when I had questions. It was a very good time. Tons to see and I am hoping to back soon to see more.

Tonight I caught up on some quality with the couch. I had great plans to put away the 5 loads of laundry I did on Sunday, dishes, make something healthy for dinner, do my Self magazine workout - but the couch won. I feel bad, but don't. Now that I am on the board for the tri club, I will have to start working out again soon.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Brooke Can FLY!!

Literally. Her butterfly stroke is AWESOME!! The workout had us doing 2-200 IM's.
I was all - "I do one arm fly because I am a wimp. But it's good for the abs. Ya know..."
Brooke is all "Right"
She makes me go first, I do my 1 arm fly, hit the wall for my turn and she is RIGHT THERE doing the full stroke! And looking AWESOME!! Once we finished the 200 I look at her and say
"Dang GIRL!! You have a great fly!"
And she's all "Yeah, that used to be my stroke." In this totally 'I kick butt' way.
Right - see above, at my jacka$$ comment. Sometimes Brooke, how do you put up with me?!?!? But I am glad you do!!

We had a pretty good workout - for 5:45 am. We also had to do 2-200 kick. On the first one, I am kicking away, get close to the end and say hi to the lifeguard who is ALWAYS there that early. When I was hard core swimming the past few years, I would always see him. So, I smile, say hi and he says
"It's been awhile since you have been here" or something like that. I was totally called out by the lifeguard on not swimming. Really!?!? Dang. I was put in my place, TWICE by 6:45 A.M.

I just used a whole lot of capital letters in this post. Not sure why, guess I was just trying to emphasize certain points. And yes, I only had one cup of coffee (a latte made by me) 8 and a half hours ago so a caffeine boost is not the reason - but that would be nice right now.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Too Much Sleep Makes it Hard to Get Up!!

On Saturday, I missed a party to sleep. I mean I fell asleep at 7 on the couch, woke up at 10 and went to bed, slept until 8:30 ish. Yesterday I spent the day cleaning up after my cookie/wine party, going through stuff, did 5 loads of laundry, etc. My goal was to go to bed early get up and swim. Well, when I went to bed at 10:30, I was wide awake. Tossed and turned til 1 and when the alarm went off at 5:15 - I immediately reset it for 7:15. I had no idea I needed that much sleep and was annoyed that I couldn't go to sleep/get up today. Oh well... I will try again tomorrow. And I am meeting Brooke at 5:45 on the pool deck so I have to go.

And tonight was my last belly dancing class. It was okay, but after last weeks kick butt class, it just doesn't seem the same. I am up in the air about continuing on... I like it, it's fun, different, but really expensive. And a 16 week commitment. Eek...

Okay, off to bed so I can get up and swim.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I Am Surprised and Very Honored

Yesterday was the DC Tri Club annual meeting, followed by a Kona viewing party. I decided to run for the board of directors for the club about 4 weeks ago. I did not have a good first experience when I first joined but gave it another chance when I signed up for IM Moo. I met Brooke and she changed my views on the club (see when everything is her fault ;-). Over the past year I volunteered more, went to events, met more people who were not hard core/fast/tri is the only thing in life, people. After I did the Ironman talk, I met even more people who (I hope) realized they can do anything they really want and put their minds towards.

Anyway I found out on Friday I was voted into the Board. I ran on the 'platform' of getting more people out to do events who are a bit more scared/worried about being slow/whatever the reason and try to get them more comfortable and take advantage of all the club has to offer. So, I am very excited to be on the board. I hope it works out.

Also, they did awards at the meeting; volunteer of the year, rookie of the year, most improved, etc. There is also a "Spirit of DC Tri" award. Someone nominated me and I was very surprised to learn I won. Now, I think someone else might have had the most votes and won a different award, but either way, I am extremely surprised and honored.

Oh, and they recognized the first time 70.3 and 140.6 finishers. Once again, I had to stand up, and once again, embarrassed. They gave out pint glasses with the DC Tri club logo on one side and "I went the distance" on the other. Awesome!!

So, this next year should be interesting. I don't have many races and really want to focus my energy to the club and being a board member. I want to help others train for their races, support their events and share my experiences when I can.

Ummm... Cookies

Pretend this post was written yesterday.

Friday was one of my favorite days of the year - my annual cookie party. I invite a bunch of ladies over, we decorate sugar cookies, eat snacks, and drink lots of holiday drinks and wine.

I took Friday off to clean. Now cleaning my apartment is a complete workout. Not that it is big, but it was so not clean. I also had to run a bunch of errands to pick up last minute stuff and I chose to walk instead of drive. It took a bit longer, but it was a beautiful day. And I figured it helped justify how many cookies I would eat.

And, according to a online calorie counter, I would burn about 180 calories an hour cooking. So all my baking and getting ready for a party totally counts as a workout.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Yup, Plantar Fasciitis

After a rough and slow start to the morning, I made it to the Podiatrist only 5 minutes late. But, had metro been running efficiently (hey, I can dream) I would have been on time. Anyway, I get to the room, the doctor comes in hyped up on way too much caffeine, and we start chatting about my foot. Did you know you were supposed to be able to flex your foot a tad past 90 degrees!?!? I don't fully understand that because I don't know how ankle should move like that. But, my flexibility is that area is pretty bad and I was closer to 80 degrees. He then pushes my foot in places that make tears come to my eyes and confirms the plantar fasciitis. We take some x-rays for heel spurs and sure enough, I have one. But not only one on my right foot, but my left as well - even though lefty doesn't hurt (yet).

So now I have to do stretches before I get out of bed in the morning - like I needed another excuse to stay in bed longer!! Ice. Take ibuprofen - which I declined. I took so much for my IM training, I wanted to take a break from it, which he said was okay. When he asked how long this has been going on, I said mid June/July; he almost fell off his chair. Apparently I have a high pain tolerance. But, when it came to giving me the cortisone shot, I hid behind my plantar fasciitis brochure. I don't like needles. I don't pass out or anything - well, maybe the last time I gave blood, but not usually; I just don't like needles.

When I asked if I could still run, that I was only doing 5-7 miles 2-3 times a week, he (unfortunately) said that was fine. I have a follow up on the 30th to get fitted for new orthotics. Woo-Hoo!! Hopefully all this will help the ankle too, as we don't know if the swelling is still from the clip out during the race, the fall when hiking, or changing the way I walk due to my foot. Rest and time will tell.

So to celebrate, I had a cheese steak for lunch as I was still craving comfort food from yesterday.

Work Frustration = Way to fast of a run

NOTE - This was written yesterday and I just didn't have a chance to post. I won't explain why I couldn't post it, but those responsibly know who they are. And it's not Brooke.
Well, indirectly it is Brooke, and her fault.

Today was one of those days where you get bad news at work, see all you have done for a project for the past 2 months go to waste. I understand it's not great times for the economy and all - however certain things need to be done. Mine got cut and I am not happy about it. What I really wanted to do was eat something cheesy, fried, something that would comfort me - like those pictured on the left. However, I went to the gym. I was going to spend some time on the treadmill, but it was 50 something degrees and I had to take advantage. It was a bit rainy when I started, almost felt muggy, but I remembered my parents saying how much snow they have and went out on a blissful run without a jacket.

But, because I haven't been running outside in ages, and was upset, I went out way to hard.
Oh well, I was proud of my self for not giving into the 'fat monster' and going for a run instead of eating really good food.

And, I want to say once again, how excited I am to be going to the foot doctor tomorrow. I know it's probably just plantar fasciitis and a twisted ankle, but it will be good to have treatment options. Especially if not running is one of them ;-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm Still Here

What a weekend and I can't believe it's already Tuesday! Suzie was in town and we had a really good time. Lots of catching up, a few beers here and there, some decorating for the holidays (this is not my house or tree) and just an overall good time.

We walked a lot so I figured this was good enough for working out this weekend.

Yesterday was some quality time on the stair master and belly dancing class. We had a sub teacher and she kicked butt! Literally! Mine was pretty sore. And my arms. And abs. I liked her so much I am thinking of signing up for the full 16 week beginner 1 class starting in January.

And today was full of meetings and running errands. Tons of shopping as I am planning for my favorite party of the year - my cookie decorating party!!!

That's about all I have for now. Not very exciting, but having fun.

Stay warm!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Oh Starry Night

Or should I say starry morning. That is what I saw this morning when I rolled out of bed. My first reaction was to text Brooke with a no, roll over and go back to bed. But no, I need to start and it seemed to be the best time.

So, get to the pool, pick a lane and get started. A few moments later, there is Brooke - without goggles. Apparently she had a rough time this morning as well. Luckily enough, I had an extra pair.

A little note from me to you all about swimming with a friend. Make sure you decide if you will be circle swimming or splitting the lane BEFORE you start. Oh, and if you do decide to circle swim, make sure you are both circle swimming in the same counter/clockwise way (and according to USMS, it's up the right side of the lane). I am not saying there was one or two collisions or anything - just throwing this tip out there - a little gift of knowledge from me to you.

I realized that right now I swam 2200M, showered, made a latte, toasted a bagel and am blogging all before I got out of bed yesterday (or the past few weeks). It's a good feeling. The swim was tougher than it should have been, but really good. Hopefully this is something we can keep doing.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I Would Do a Looonnngg Post, Buuutttt....

I am on my way to bed. Why so early you ask??? Well, someone is making me get up really early so I can meet them at Y for a swim. And there might have been a $100 bet if the other doesn't show. Let's just say I have 3 alarms set. He he he

Brooke and I are back on the wagon and those of you who read my other blog know she likes the early mornings. And I like to blame her. This is the reason the Wii Rock Band I am in is named "Brooke's Fault". I kid I kid. If it wasn't for her, I don't know if my Ironman would have gone the way it went. So, if she wants to meet at 5:45, I will meet her at 5:45.

That means I need to stop blogging and go to bed. Kristin told me she used to sleep in her suit to make it that much easier to get up for practice. I don't think I will go that far but it's tempting...

But before I do, I did make it to the gym today for some time on the treadmill. It was okay, but I will say I am very happy I have a food doctor appointment next week.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Tried, I Did

I had full intentions of going to the pool tonight. However, around noon, I started to fear it. By 3, I started to dread it. Around 5:30 - going to the pool was the L-A-S-T thing I wanted to do. I even told people I was going to try and hold my self accountable - nothing.

So, I didn't go. I just didn't have it in me.

Instead, I made dinner (stupid mac and cheese obsession), did dishes, 2 loads of laundry, vacuumed my bedroom, wrote 80% of my holiday cards and did some push-ups/sit-ups.

Productive evening, yes. Productive for working out, no.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Odd Places Still Hurt

It's been an interesting few days. I am really trying to figure out how to have successful workouts and not have it be too overwhelming on my self.

Yesterday I hit up the stationary bike again. Last time, not so good. This time, a bit better. But, the way the bike is set, you can lean forward on your forearms - slightly closer to a real bike. So I am biking and my right arm starts to hurt. It took a few minutes to realized - that dang fall!! My arm is still slightly bruised and couldn't handle the pressure. Not good.

Belly dancing class was fun, but more shoulder crunching. However, what I am more concerned about is my right ankle. When we were stretching, sitting cross legged, my right ankle cracked, and not in the good way. This has been hurting since IM Moo, when I clipped out poorly at a stop. And the fall didn't help - as it's still swollen (not enough to be picture worthy - I tried). It's really bothering me, along with some heal issues - which is more than likely plantar fasciitis. Boo! I have the number of a doctor that Jess saw, I just haven't had the chance to call.

Wow, this is a bit more whinny than I meant when I started writing. Sorry.

Good things. I learned how to make glazed pork chops. Okay, I stood in the kitchen, watched, and ate them. My BF Suzie is on her way out to visit on Friday. YAY! And I am slowly getting into the holiday spirit.