Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Five!


1.  This week, I feel like I am back on my running legs--- not fast, but after a dry needling physical therapy appointment last week, I am in so much less pain.  I do have a lingering little bit of tightness that is making me still be very mindful of stretching and being conservative, BUT..nothing debilitating!  Why did I not go to see Larry (my physical therapist) 5 weeks ago when it began?? sigh:)

2.  "Present Over Perfect", by Shauna Neiquist:  I just read and finished this book within the week and it was so needed.  I read it wondering if I may have written it (with a great editor, haha)... I couldn't have put this into words myself as well as the author, but it was exactly things I feel.  It talks about "leaving behind frantic for a simpler, more soulful way of living."  I am excited to be delving in from the beginning AGAIN and taking notes on some of my favorite thoughts and words.  It was just too good to only read once!

3.  Being 13:  there was a CNN special by Anderson Cooper about technology/social media use by teens and oh my word.  What am I in for?  I don't know the answers, but I am going to do my best to be on top of communicating with my kids about these issues... ongoing communication (and monitoring!!)

4.  Swimming-- I am proud of myself for working so hard at the thing that I struggle with!  What is that for you?  Share and tell me how you're working on it!

5.  HALLOWEEN!  I am so excited!  The kids make this day and the lead up so fun!  I am making Forrest's costume- he wanted to be Snoopy, and I rag tagged a bunch of things together that I am so excited for his costume!  Phoebe is being a "baby" and is really excicted to wear a "pajama onesie" around trick or treating!!! yea, so much fun!!! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wednesday Workout: Swim status

So, I'm putting it out there, let's call it what it is: my swim is a real liability for my triathlon.  I have for many years realized, hey-- I seem to mostly be around mid pack for the swim, and my bike/run are so much stronger that I make up for it mostly.  I let myself just do the bare bones training for swim.  I reconciled this with the fact that in a triathlon, improvements in the bike and run offer for the most part far greater return on the training investment time.

Until now.  By the end of this season, it became very clear to me that I feel like I am "near-  maxed out" with my bike, and my run really isn't in a place where I stand to make the most gains anymore... It is the swim.  There is no way I can come out of the swim with 10 minutes to make up in an Olympic distance race - over someone who maybe swim is their strength, but if they are also near the top cyclist/runner... I am just in the hole too much... I must improve my swim.

And I will.

AND WOW- look at that above statement! Look at that CONFIDENCE!  haha.. not sure how much I really believe that truly in my heart, BUT... I am going to TRY MY BEST.  And I have begun!

I contacted a local swim school, and although right now they don't have their underwater video analysis/no individual coaching options, I am going to hang in there and hope for being able to do that soon.  I have taken 4 swim webinars over the past 2 months as part of my CEU's for recertification as a USA Triathlon coach, and they have been very helpful to me, and opened my eyes to some different ways of approaching training/ some variety, which is helpful for motivation!

and.. I have been SWIMMING!  You know what?  HOW EMBARRASSING actually to even almost go to a coach for help at this point, pointing out that I can't swim as fast as I think I should.  Why should I be able to swim fast?  I am strong yes.  But... someone with strong legs who comes to me saying they think they should be able to bike faster, but they've only been biking 2x/week???  ummmm... hello,, begin by TRAINING, right?!  So, I've realized, I have no right to think I should be better when frankly I haven't been putting in the 1.  time  2. effort/intensity. 
So, I have been consistent for a month now (which has been helped by a horrible hamstring/glute/calf issue ongoing right now which has limited my bike/run.... strange how the universe comspires to help at times, right?!)  I have been to the pool 3-4x/week.  Previously I would swim 1-2x/week.. (2x always GOAL, but... always made excuses for that 2nd time). 
I've taken benchmarks of my distances.
I've created a swim training plan for the next few months, as well as some key focus points/mini goals to work through along the way.
I am using the tempo trainer to help with my arm cadence which I think has been one of my limiters.
Ryan video'ed (??) me swimming before the reston pools closed and I was brought to HUMBLE AWARENESS of how my form looked.. Oh my GOSH my right hand crossing over?  I had no idea, I had no idea my body was snaking around behind me creating all sorts of drag.  I had no idea and would have SWORN that my head was not lifting up... yuck.  So I am working on all drills that are specific to these problems (and more)... and I feel so purposeful in the pool.

Of course the pool comes with so many annoyances that today I had a brief thought of, "I'm too sensitive to deal with pool - people drama.... ugh".... but... that is a small thing and I need to toughen up my heart sometimes:)  And I have gotten (not just in the past months but finally over the past few years- even if it hasn't come with speed), to a place where I am loving the sport of swimming.  I feel finally like I WANT to, I look forward to it, I enjoy it while there, and I feel so great after swimming!  Sometimes I'm not sure if it is the power of getting away and immersing myself under water for an amount of time where NOONE CAN CONTACT ME!! haha... But it is peaceful, soothing and invigorating to my body and mind!

I need to really work on not just the physical progress of swimming, but my mental block of who I am as a swimmer.  I always have the tendency to put myself down, say "I cannot swim", and feel so pitiful about my swim.  And I will stop now.  I am training now.  I am STRONG, and I can LEARN, and I do not give up.... So ... cool... I feel happy.. I love having new and exciting goals!!

It is not 2017 yet, but I am kinda prepping... I always feel like fall is a time for new goals also... in fact, I believe that every day is (every "Rising Sun"!)! 
What are your fall goals or 2017 thoughts on goals?!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Monday Mantra

Happy new week, and..... it was a rough weekend here... sheesh.
on all accounts... but... moving on....

moving on.... moving on.... always moving on.. right?

Over the years, I've learned fitness and training and LIFE is such a BLEND of priorities meshing with life, doing our best and.... moving right along.......

That doesn't mean we can discount our efforts.
It doesn't mean we are off the hook, excuses at the ready...
but it means that we have BIG questions to ask....
what do we choose.  what is important... and... what is the MOST important to our BIG PICTURE....

Today, I took the time to run into the pool for a quick swim- I had a cancellation for a training session and was RIGHT by the pool, so I decided it was worth it to even get a short swim in.... and later when I planned to run.... I went out and ... half mile in.. I had to listen to my heart and body.

I stopped and walked home.
My hamstring and hip have been bothering me.   And I could feel it.
My heart was hurting... Have had some rough days and some big things weighing on me.  and this is not the time of year to push for me.... I am saving myself, and taking care of myself... and listening to myself... and learning these most basic of lessons.  I am repeating to myself that it is ok to listen to myself.... I am trusting that it will be. 
It will be okay...
In the end, it is always okay..

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Fit Fuel for the week!

Meals this week are super simple, and I have all of the ingredients ready to go to make it easier for my schedule this week!

Tonight:  family is out at boy scout event for dinner, so I'm on my own and am having spinach lentil tomato soup (one of my faves).

Monday:  brown rice and barbecue chicken, salad;  (I'm having brown rice with leftover spinach lentil stew).

Tuesday:  sweet potatoes, kale chips, and baked chicken.

Wednesday:  salad and ravioli (for mine, I have a few ravioli, but more of the salad/and tons of veggies piled on top in a big bowl so it is mostly veggies w/ a bit of pasta/cheese...

Thursday:  Chicken salad sandwiches (with chopped celery/apples/grapes in the salad) and smoothie.

Friday:  fish and veggies.... *I always like to have this as a standard Friday night meal if I can so that it leaves room for some wine/ a Friday PM snack, etc.... plus it is rather easy and quick!!

Happy Healthy Food this week!
What are you looking forward to as your healthiest meal this week?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Friday Five

Happy Friday!  I am going to try to begin a weekly post called "Friday Five" where I write things that I have loved from the week!  They may not all be fitness, or they may be!  Just whatever has made me smile or touched me over the week!

#1.  I am loving this fall season (especially the fact that it has been 85 degrees!) of slowing down, of walking Ellie Mae daily and having her force me to be slow! I love being so aware of the season and how much I am treasuring each day with Ellie Mae.

#2.  Clear slate with training goals:  It scares me a little to have no races right now.  I don't know how to live well this way, BUT, I also think it is a necessary time to get to a place that doesn't feel quite right, so that I am fired up to train and achieve goals!  I am loving planning races for the next season, exploring dates and places and having an open slate to work with for the next year!  What new races should I consider?!  I'd love to do a destination/ trip race soon!

#3.  Pumpkin:  I don't love pumpkin spice lattes like  many people, BUT... when fall comes, I act like it is my JOB on this earth to make pumpkin food.  I have made pumpkin ricotta pasta bake, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin biscotti, pumpkin cake, pumpkin lentil soup so far.  Ryan has told me that not everything needs to be pumpkin.  It has been recommended that I take a slight pumpkin break.

#4.  My morning glories.  I posted this on facebook, but:  my gardens at this time of year are horrid and pitiful and sad.  BUT.... my morning glories that I plant each year from seed are FREAKING AMAZING right now!  I had some big plans for them that didn't actually happen, BUT- at least 2 of the transplants are finally blooming in the front!  It brings me so much joy to see these and it was just the nicest thing today when a woman taking a walk came up to my door at the end of one of my classes and introduced herself and told me how much she loved them!

#5.  I won't go into politics on here, BUT.. I will say.... that I LOVE the Saturday night live parody each week on the election/debate.  Oh my GOSH, it is such a well deserved 5-10 minutes spent LAUGHING LAUGHING LAUGHING!  I love it!  I do watch with the kids; I think it is good for them to know a bit about the issues (and this year more than issues but some information and discussion on character) and it has been a nice way to get them to laugh big time with me!! So funny... (funny/not funny!!!!)

Happy Friday !!!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ranking happiness!

I'm so excited right now!  I am applying to a few teams for sponsors and I had to include my USAT 2015 and unofficial/as of now 2016 ranking.  I got mailed an All - American certificate from 2015, but honestly, I didn't ever log on to see what I was ranked, etc.  I couldn't find it online, so I had to email in to find out, and they responded back with the link that I was ranked 7th in my age group for 2015!!! I was beyond thrilled to see that number?! woweee!!!  The previous year was 139 and 2013 was 217, so this seemed really AWESOME to me! Then, I went to the link provided for the unofficial current 2016 standings (since if others race and get more points than me, I would move down).  Currently, I am ranked 2nd! WOW! I think it is so amazing, especially since I didn't even have a number in my head that I was HOPING for, this just absolutely made my day! 

It is funny how I am totally immersed in my training, in my goals and in my training plan, BUT... I apparently am not a "numbers person" for races/results.  (maybe now I will be!)  Similarly, I couldn't tell you currently my 10 mile PR, or my Olympic distance triathlon PR, or my 70.3 PR (although I could come close).  My TRAINING is usually the thing that matters the most to me- the daily grind, the daily getting out there, achieving, working, struggling, feeling, recovering, day to day doing the right thing, managing fatigue/soreness/nutrition/family/work, etc.... It is so intense.  I arrive at the race and I KNOW that I am 100% prepared as much as I could be.  And so in my mind, that is that.  I give my all in the race, am usually fairly right on with knowing where I will be timewise based on my training, I love and enjoy the race, but the numbers aren't my biggest thing!  It is nice to get on the podium (especially when the prize is a wine glass!!) (or discount to next years race!), but it is rarely the MOST important thing that I remember from the races!  And I'm kinda proud of that!  I've really found this sport that just completes me as an adult.

**I'm not saying I show up at races and am complacent... completely opposite.  I am prepared and I fully intend to use all of my preparation.  But, I completely also feel accepting of where I am, my limitations, and don't define myself as a person by my times/numbers/pace/placing, etc.  I enjoy the roads, the nature, the towns I run through, the volunteers, my family usually joining me.  I usually pray at some point in the race and thank God for allowing me a healthy body to dive into each day with, and for letting me be safe and at peace and thriving.  I am so thankful for this sport and I don't take for granted my time that I have each day to get out and continue to do something I love for myself, and to share that with others with coaching and training and teaching.  Not all days feel glorious(!), but every once in awhile, I just amazed by being able to live what I one day dreamed:)

(above:  Eagleman 2016/3rd age group and yes... I will be back next year...!!!!!)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Back to blogging....??????!!!!! and meal plan for week!

So, I haven't written since JUNE!
WHEW!  Blogging is something that I want to do... frankly... for ME! haha, I know a blog is supposed to be "social media," but, I want to become more consistent with blogging because
1. I enjoy writing- I enjoy it in the moment, and I also enjoy that sometimes I feel like I can "figure things out" while I write through them.
2. I like to keep lists and track of things in written format!
3. I've been applying for some various sponsorships/teams, and... they are all asking for my social media platform... ughhhhh..... I've kind of always thought it sucks that many times people are very well known for their fitness and inspiring others by sitting at a desk and writing about it, while... I am out there.. DOING and LIVING it with people one on one and in groups.. BUT.... I have to adapt and become "of the times".....So... I am going to use all of these reasons to get back on!

For now, I am going to update my weekly meal plan.  It is helpful for me to do my meal plans, otherwise we don't eat healthfully, and here is how I do it.
Thursday evenings: I usually sit down and plan meals for the following week- I look over our family calendar and see what nights we are able to have more time at home vs. nights where we may need a sandwich or yogurt in the car, etc.
Friday: I look through and make grocery list of items we need/do not have/ what is on sale at grocery stores/which is best to go to.
Saturday:  RYAN shops for me!  usually!  I am so lucky, I know.... I also will often stop at a store to run in for like 3-4 things, but he does the BIG trip.
Sunday: I like to at least spend some time food prepping- washing things, cutting fruit, and making a real meal for Sunday- ideally something that coudl have a 2nd meal out of it, or at least some portion of it being leftovers.

*we don't eat meat often- maybe 1-2x/week, maybe 3 if I am VERY on top of things and there has been a sale!
* we are not FANCY at all!  my meals are si mple and some may think they are boring.  They work for us, so yea.
*I am not putting up recipes for any of these yet, BUT IT IS IN MY GOALS to always link up to some of the recicpes.  If there are any that you want to know how I make, let me know and I'll email you recipe!
*I like to do one crockpot meal/week.
*I like to do fish on fridays, even though I don't really love fish at all.  I like Friday meal to be light because I need fish once/week (bleh), but also if I eat really healthy dinner, I feel like I can maybe have an extra glass of wine/snack!
*I usually end up having one meal/week as either:  egg based/breakfasty, OR oatmeal/breakfasty, or a sandwich (all with smoothie, usually)..

Next week:
Monday:  Pumpkin Ricotta Pasta Bake and spinach salad.
Tuesday:  Crockpot meal:  Chicken kale soup with popovers, carrot sticks/hummus
Wednesday:  Chicken, Sweet potato biscuits, spinach salad
Thursday: Scrambled eggs, edamame, smoothie
Friday:  fish and steamed broccoli
Saturday:  hopefully OUT!

More on the blog SOON! (feel unconfident in saying that, but will try!)