Before & After



I just completed 12 weeks of training with my coach. I can’t believe it. These past 3 months have been great, and I’m not just saying that. Having accountability and a realistic plan for my schedule has made all the difference. Even though I can’t say I look forward to every workout (it’s still a chore sometimes), what I now think to myself is “how would I feel if I skipped it?”. More often than not I go ahead and get it done.

So you might be thinking that I’m going to post photos of my figure before I started training and now. No. Get that out of your head right now. This whole training thing isn’t about making my body look good (although that is a nice bonus). It’s about getting stronger and fitter.

So what is the Before and After then? Well, Cobra Strike and I have a room in our home that has some workout equipment and some weights. Over time it’s also become a dumping ground for laundry, cat food, chicken supplies, and whatever else doesn’t seem to have a home. Most people have a junk drawer, we have a junk room. I’ve kept enough space open to get on the treadmill as the need arises, but it really is an unpleasant place to be. So I’ve been lugging my weights and yoga mat and bike on the trainer to various rooms in our house to get my workouts done. But that is pretty silly when I have a room that just needs a little TLC.

So I present to you the Before & After of my workout room. It’s still a work in progress, but at least it is clean and functional now. At some point I will paint, but I haven’t decided on a color yet.

So you can see this is a basement gym. We’ve got a treadmill (folded in these photos) up against a wall that has a shelf running the length of it. It’s accumulated a lot of junk over the years: it’s where the cat likes to eat her food, there’s sewing stuff, old magazines, race medals that I haven’t bothered to hang, etc. Basically I just removed all the crap, cleaned it all up and voila! there was plenty of space to put my bike trainer, weights, and yoga mats.

The space is cleaner, friendlier, and most importantly functional. As I use the space daily I will figure out a color. I’ve been pinning various ideas on my Pinterest board. Feel free to send me your suggestions. It’s a huge improvement already, although my cat Ruby isn’t too thrilled with the changes (hence the bowl of cat food on the floor).

So I’m happy to report that changes are happening in lots of positive ways.





Gratitude Attitude


Winter morning at the reservoir



Right now at my school January is Kindness Month. We are participating in the Great Kindness Challenge, which is a national endeavor the 3rd week of January. I work in a school for deaf and hard of hearing students, and we really want to emphasize this message, so we decided to make kindness the focus for the whole month. We’re doing daily and weekly activities throughout promoting kind acts toward each other. It’s been a lot of fun. I, along with helpful members of our Sunshine Committee made an awesome bulletin board promoting kindness at home, on the bus, inside and outside of school. We made gift-wrapped kindness boxes for each classroom filled with ideas of kind acts to complete daily, promoting an awareness of how we impact and treat each other. Students have been writing and drawing pictures for various staff and students, cleaning up the school yard, handing out stickers, complimenting each other and of course using their manners. Students also have been writing postcards to each other with little positive phrases and drawings. Awesome. We had a Hot Cocoa party on Friday, which was my personal fave to date. We (a few of the high school girls and I) read a story about sharing, and then we ate homemade snacks with our hot cocoa and marshmallows (or Fluff, which is the absolute best way to go back in time…as are snowsuits and mittens with a string trying them together so you don’t lose them). It was lovely to see every student on his or her best behavior, saying please and thank you, expressing gratitude for having such a nice little gathering of friends at the end of the week. Kindness Month is a school-wide effort and it’s been fantastic so far. I’ve been impressed seeing all the students getting into the effort: from the preschool all the way to the high school. We still have two plus weeks left and more to do – art projects, kindness games, staff appreciating the work of other staff. It’s put me in a pretty good mood I must say. I hope we can extend it for another month or two or twelve…

All of this leads me to thoughts of expressing gratitude in my own life and trying to bring some of that kind attitude to other areas, such as the car. Remembering my word of the year is patience, which applies not only to my training, but to driving on the road with other people. Not everyone out there is conspiring to make me late…or are they???

Speaking of training, I hit all 12 of my workouts this week (A+) – much better than my 75% (solid C) – last week. I even met up with my running group on Saturday for a lovely 4 mile jaunt around a local reservoir. It was 19*, but the sun was bright and there was a hot coffee and pumpkin spice muffin waiting for me at the end. I had never run at this location before, even though I drive by every single work day. I will be back for sure. There’s something so peaceful about running by a frozen lake in the winter. Getting outside for some fresh air and exercise plus a lovely breakfast with my running buddies is definitely hygge.

I am grateful for my job. Most of the time I complain about it, as do most employees, right? It’s not easy to work with teenagers day in and day out for 14 years. I mean parents get a break because their kids go through their teens in less than a decade. I’ve been stuck in adolescence angst for a good time longer than that. My gratitude attitude is that I can leave all those kids at the school house door. When I get home my dogs are always happy to see me and rarely bring me any drama. They don’t need the newest iPhone or have any problems on Snap Chat, and for that I am forever grateful. I wish I could say the same about my small flock of chickens, but those ladies are full of drama. They’re crabby when it’s cold, and when it’s hot, and when there’s a new girl, or if they don’t get to sit next to their fave on the roosting bar…but I put up with all of that because they give me delicious eggs. (And they don’t live in my house.)

I’m always grateful for Cobra Strike even though I don’t say it enough. I came home on Friday afternoon to homemade Beef Wellington in the oven. What!? Yes. That is just one of the thousands of sweet things that man does for me on the regular. He’s the best.

I’m also grateful for my family. My parents who do too much for very little recognition. In that circumstance it is easy to be taken for granted. I want them to know that they’re appreciated and loved. Parents, children, siblings…we’re supposed to drive each other crazy sometimes, right? It happens sometimes despite our best intentions. This week I was reminded of what it was like to be a kid – drinking hot cocoa my mom made me with a big dollop of Fluff – after coming in from playing in the snow. That is a happy memory for me, one that I enjoyed reliving while sitting on the floor drinking that steaming cup of chocolate and Fluff with my students on a Friday afternoon.

Not too long ago my mom gave me my grandmother’s gratitude journal. It is filled with so many regular, everyday observations, and here is one I find particularly fitting for this post:

At this sitting It’s unlikely I can pinpoint episodes that created specific gratitude in me. On the contrary, I feel a bit Pollyannish as I wrap my self in a “cloak” of contentment with where I am in my journey.

Me too, Gram. Me too.






It’s Hygge Time

A friend of mine travelled to Copenhagen a few years ago and returned talking about something called hygge (pronounced hoo-gah). I had never heard of it before but I loved the concept. And then I quickly forgot about it. Until today. I came across this article and the timing could not be more perfect. Here I am, freezing cold, cranky now that it’s January, the holidays are over, vacation is over, I’m back at work, and it’s still dark as I’m driving to said job. I may have missed a workout this week too. This concept of hygge flips that attitude about the long, cold, seemingly endless dreary days of winters on its head.

Quite simply hygge  means coziness, and who doesn’t love a cozy atmosphere? But not just staying indoors by the fire with a hot cocoa, which is definitely hygge, because there’s a lot more to it. Finding the lovely in the winter, enjoying the snow rather than shaking our fists at it. Having the proper gear always helps. I have brand new snow tires (thanks mom and dad!), and good winter clothing to keep me warm – both for work and for exercise. So being warm when we’re outdoors helps our hygge because we need the little bit of sunshine to boost our spirits, but it also helps us to get out and socialize. Cobra Strike informed me yesterday that he volunteered us to help his school with a giant community project. I can’t think of anything more hygge than to give back to others in their time of need (and spend time with my main squeeze, obviously).

So how will I be flexing my hygge muscles this winter? In addition to the cups of hot cocoa by the fire with a dog in my lap, I’ll be adding more color and lights to my spaces. I’ll do as many of my workouts as possible outdoors. I’ll enjoy our hot tub and use my snow shoes and go out and visit friends. There’s lots of ways to bring more hygge into our lives and why not? It’s such a lovely concept. And winter is going to be here as long as it wants, so let’s make the best of it.

On to other topics…

The big question on my mind today: is there a nail polish or manicure that will withstand my weekly swim workouts? My nails are dry and cracked due to the season, and the chlorine isn’t helping that. Plus I’d love to add a little color – something pretty to look at when I take off my winter gloves… now that I’m thinking of adding more color, today seems like a good day to get a pedicure. Hygge is about pampering oneself too, I’m pretty sure.

Speaking of workouts, my week started off pretty well: 2 rides on the trainer, 1 swim, and a 3 mile run after school (plus all the strength exercises I have to do after my cardio), and then I got the stomach bug that has taken down everyone around me. So I missed a swim and a run. But I had a long chat with my coach and he’s “very happy with my results and dedication, by the way”, which is the feedback I’ve been needing. Right now we are building my base for training. So I’m not going to worry too much about missing a couple this week. I got 8 of the 12 workouts in and that’s pretty decent. Well it’s a solid C, which is very average, but that’s ok. It’s a long process and my word this year is “Patience”, so relax a little, Sally.


Lotus the lap dog enjoying some hygge by the fire


So that’s the news from here this week.

To Do:

  • Take down the tree… finally
  • Buy some new snow pants
  • Meal planning and grocery shopping
  • Pedicure!

Stay warm and get your hygge on.



Reflections and Expectations

December was a whirlwind. But now that the holidays are over and the house has been tidied up (sort of), I think once again of my routine. I am one of those people who likes to pause and reflect and then plan for the next thing. Whatever I decide that to be. With that in mind I did a quick reflection, credit to Swimbikemom, and here is what I learned…

3 Things I Did Right in 2016:

  1. I took a break to sort out my priorities. I believe some would call it a mid-life crisis. But it worked at a time over the summer when things were most definitely not working for me. I learned that this triathlon thing is not something I’m ready to give up on yet. I have to see where this adventure will take me.
  2. I joined a running group. This was a big, scary thing that turned out to be a very nice complement to my exercise routine. The ladies I’ve met and run with have been friendly and welcoming and I can keep up with them! That was probably always the fear – that I was too slow. But when we’re all chatting away the miles seem to fly by!
  3. I finally got myself a real-life coach. Best decision EVER. Yes it costs real money but that’s what is getting me off the couch. Would I be waking up at 4:30 to get to the pool before work??? Never. But that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 2 months. I need this right now and I’m looking at the money spent as a wise investment in myself.


3 Things I Must and Therefore Will Improve in 2017:

  1. More meal planning, shopping and cooking. I let a lot of the cooking fall on Cobra Strike’s shoulders because he enjoys cooking. But he’s in grad school now and honestly we’ve had our fill of Tator Tots for a while, so I’m going to step in and do my part for the family. I don’t cook enough even though I do enjoy it.
  2. Limit and/or eliminate booze. This is going to be difficult, but I really want to see what happens when I remove this variable from my diet. I know my weight will improve, so will my sleep, my workouts, my hot flashes (dear Lord please let it help my hot flashes)…This is something I have tried to do but have not completed for any stretch of time. Dry January is a popular thing now (so I’ve heard) so I’m going to give it a try. It’s only 31 days…
  3. Consistency with my training. If I have my coach, no problem. If I’m by myself… Eeeek! This has been a huge challenge for me. I need accountability. Coach and I will be planning my race season soon. So far the only races I have lined up are a 5K in February and a 10K in March. The other thing I need to add to my support team is a Tri Club. I’m going to join the one here in the area and I’m going to volunteer at some races and join them for group rides and runs.


A short phrase or a word to focus on: Patience. This has been coming up for me a lot lately. Cobra Strike bought me a couple of books for Christmas. Joe Friel’s Triathlete’s Training Bible – he talks about the importance of training in moderation and being patient. I tend to get frustrated and lose my motivation with any kind of setback, so this reminder to be patient will help get through those tough times.

My mantra for this month is “What you want is what you will get”. And what that means to me is that I want to hit all my workouts for the week. I want to get up and get moving. If I tell myself “what’s one day? skip it!” then that’s what I’ll get – skipping workouts and zeroes where I should have workouts completed. Am I afraid? Or do I remind myself that I want this big, scary goal and I need to move toward that and away from my own limiting fear.

With that in mind I head into 2017. My expectations are realistic I think. My goals are achievable: consistency with my workouts, focusing on doing all I can to keep moving toward being a successful triathlete – eating well, resting, being patient with the process. I guess that is good advice for us all.

Let me know what has gone well for you or what you’d like to do this year, or your word or phrase. Or your favorite mocktail cuz I’ll be needing some of those.

Happy New Year. xoxo



Input and Output

Sometimes a week just sucks. Not the entire week, but parts. And I guess it’s true that all weeks can suck if you want to look at them that way. I don’t want to, but I have to acknowledge the suck in order to move on… Prepare for the rant…

So every workout this week sucked. Why? No idea. In what capacity? Well, let me tell you: Monday – scheduled ride. It was f-f-f-f-freezing and I don’t have the appropriate cycling gear to keep myself warm. Had to cut it short. Tuesday – scheduled swim. Coach thought it would be a good idea to challenge my swimming abilities. And I failed. And ended up frustrated. Wednesday- scheduled run. Also sucked. Why? Who the eff knows?? Thursday – scheduled ride. It was cold and I was underdressed, though dressed more warmly than Monday, but still…I guess it was fine. Friday – scheduled swim. Show up to get in the pool only to be told that it was time for Aqua Zumba. Are you freaking kidding me???? I was not happy.

Rant over.

It’s my 4th week with the coach. Maybe I’m getting tired. Maybe this is the part of the training where it gets hard so I want to quit. Maybe I don’t want to do this anymore. Maybe I’m wondering who the hell I think I am? I’m a couch potato who’s been ripped from her couch to ride her bike in the freezing cold, and to drive to the pool to have it occupied by a bunch of dancing grandmas. Is this what I want to spend my time doing? No. I want to do my workouts and get on with my day. I want things to run smoothly. Nothing was smooth about this week.

Ok, this is also the part of the training where I start to overthink everything. Best to just keep moving and think on the run. Or ride. Or swim. Truth be told I do enjoy it still. I can see that this was just a craptastic week and put it in the rearview. It doesn’t help that my nutrition has been less than stellar and I’ve had a few cocktails over this holiday week. Good input equals good output. If I feed and care for myself better then my workouts will be better. As my mother always told me, “keep it in perspective, Karen”. She’s right. This is just all for fun. So time to lace up and get back out on the road. Although my couch and my quilt and episodes of Gilmore Girls sound quite appealing right now, no progress will be made there today.

What have I learned this week? Sometimes things just suck and you have to keep going anyway. It’s hard to keep a positive attitude when it’s a struggle. It’s ok to be frustrated but don’t quit. I mean I could quit if I wanted to, but I don’t want to. I think it’s important to know what you really want. Things aren’t always easy or smooth, but deal and move on smartly. Good input equals good output: Nutrition, hydration, organization, preparation, and  attitude.

To Do:

  • make a list of cycling gear for Santa to bring me
  • watch more swimming videos
  • relax



High Low High

Hello Friends!

This week I thought I’d recap by illustrating different parts: a high point, low point, and then finishing positively with another high. So here goes…


I finished 3 full weeks of training with my coach! 6 workouts/week – 2 swims, 2 runs, and 2 bike rides. I’ve been getting up early, or getting in a run or a ride after school. I have to say even though I am busier because of this my mood has been pretty good. Except when Cobra Strike, who now has a cold, mistakenly uses my new toothbrush. Again. I love the man, but really?! Sigh…Anyway, I don’t think I’ve lost any weight yet, which is ok. I’m not doing this for the weight loss. Mostly these three weeks have been set up (masterminded you might say) just to get me back in the habit of daily exercise. The exercises themselves haven’t been super specific, except the swim because I am going back to the beginning to work on my freestyle form. They’ve been half-hour bike rides or half-hour runs or walk/runs. I really like that my coach has gone pretty easy on me so far. I know that will change, but for now the whole thing has worked really well.

{Just as an aside this coaching thing has been fantastic. Absolutely no complaints. I think I lucked out with this guy because he really seems to understand who I am and what I am capable of right now.}

Coach had me double up workouts on Thursday: swim before work then ride my bike after work. It made for a long day, but I was able to get the whole weekend off – no workouts! Friday morning I had a half hour run scheduled before I was supposed to get in the car and go to Boston for a 2-day work conference. Which leads me to…


On Wednesday’s half-hour run I noticed a little soreness on the inside of my right shin. It went away after a few minutes, but I still mentioned it to Coach. Friday I went out again and I felt that soreness again and it then started in my left ankle too. Hmmm… so my entire run went something like this:

Me (in my head): Ow. This isn’t right. Is the pain in my ankle? I’m scuffing my shoe against my leg again. That’s hip weakness. He’s going to make me do some strength exercises now. Crap! How do you strengthen ankles? Why am I braking going down this hill? Does this car see me? Hi, puppy dog! Ow! My damn shin hurts now…

Needless to say after I reported my self-diagnosis I will be getting strength exercises next week. I knew he was just getting me in the habit and didn’t want to overwhelm me with too much to do. But it’s time to get some good lunges, push ups and pistol squats back in my life. Sigh…

After my run I went into work for a meeting, and was supposed to leave for Boston right afterwards. As our new President Elect would say: WRONG! Major drama with a group of students. I ended up staying at school to counsel these kids. Missed my whole workshop. Probably won’t get my money back either. I was so disappointed that I missed it, but really quite glad to be able to provide some help to what was a pretty tense situation in the classroom. Teenagers. Sigh… Despite this disappointment I was able to turn my frown upside down, which leads me to…


I got the whole weekend off, baby! Here I was thinking I’d be traveling back and forth to Boston all weekend, but no. I got to go home at my usual time, have dinner with Cobra Strike, relax and get to bed early (as is my way these days). Then I had all day Saturday – no plans! What to do? Fun fact about triathletes: 9/10 of them have dirty houses (the 10th probably has a housekeeper). I just made that up. But it’s just not possible to work a job, get all your workouts done and keep on top of the dusting and vacuuming. Not for me with 2 messy but loveable dogs and an equally messy but loveable husband. So I spent the morning cleaning. I washed my floors! I cleaned my closet! I did laundry! Shopping! Organizing! And demanded that Cobra Strike not walk into my house with his dirty work boots (and he listened). I am so grateful to have this weekend. It really feels like a gift.

It does feel strange to have 2 days off of the exercise though. I will turn on a yoga video and just get some good stretching done today. I have more cleaning and organizing to do too, as in, I want to take our old desktop computer off of our desk and turn that into a crafting area. I have my knitting projects as well as some art journaling and card making that I want to have ready for me when inspiration strikes. Ya know, because I need one more thing to keep me distracted from all the fur and nose prints around the house!

As for next week… I imagine lots of burpees in my future. Sigh…

I’ll also be baking and Christmas shopping, and enjoying my new crafting table, I hope.

Until next time…




What I Learned This Week

Here it is, the end of another week and time for me to reflect on my training. And I will get to that, but what is on my mind is a race of a different kind: the presidential race. I’ve spent this past week trying to wrap my head around how we are where we are today. My mood swings from sadness and despair to anger and frustration, not finding much hope in between. What I do hope for is the strength to stand up against tyranny and bullying and injustice. I won’t stand by and watch my rights as a woman, or the rights of people of color, or immigrants, or people with disabilities, or LGBTQ, or Muslims, or any marginalized group be taken away.

The day after the election I had to go to work as most of us did. I didn’t want to. But I did. And the very first question from a student (who is deaf) was:

Donald Trump called deaf people “retarded” and made fun of people with disabilities. What is going to happen to me?

The only answer I could think of was to say that we don’t honestly know. But we have to do what we can. We all must pay attention. Get involved. Don’t stand by while someone is being mistreated. It’s what we teach children in order to stop bullying. And yet, here we have just elected the biggest bully we have seen in a long time. These students of mine are the future. What is this next 4 years going to teach them? How will this administration shape their world view? Will they become more tolerant of diversity or less? Will men become more respectful of women or less?

There are lots of articles out there in the interwebs about how to be safe as a woman when we are out on a run. There are all kinds of new products women can use to ward off an attacker. I saw one this morning that looked like a Wonder Woman bracelet with Wolverine-like claws that shoot out of it. This doesn’t make me feel empowered. It makes me so sad. That said, I must accept the reality that a misogynist was just awarded the highest office in the land so I will admit that I am planning to get a can of pepper spray (despite the fact that I do love bracelets). And I do carry a billy club in my car. Have been for years, thanks to my husband, code name: Cobra Strike. I never thought I’d need it. It seemed unnesessary. Not anymore.

The world feels like a very different place than it did just one week ago. My safety is not assured. And I suppose I knew that it never really was. I really believed that we as a nation would value respect and tolerance and diversity. I feel so naïve.  But I am a hopeless optimist and I work with high school students so I do have to believe that everything will be ok. I’m pretty sure it’s in my job description.


I said I would get to the workouts this week, so here they are as promised. Probably the best thing I did last week was work out everyday. I did not want to, especially Wednesday, but that run really helped me exorcise (word play, ha!) some of my negative thoughts and frustration. It helped me figure out that we have to do what we can to make our small part of the world a better place. Sometimes that means just working on our own heads. I am a role model for my students whether I want to be or not. They are looking to me and their teachers for guidance. I can’t give them the answers but I can help them figure out how to think for themselves.

My coach had me cycling twice, swimming twice, and running twice. That’s 6 workouts in 6 days, people. And that is 2 solid weeks of following the training plan to. the. letter. I am telling you having someone I must be accountable to makes all the difference. That, and I paid him real money. I highly recommend this if you struggle to stay on track as I do. I will let anything and everything derail me if I’m doing this on my own. I’m not proud of that but I don’t think it’s terribly unusual either. It is hard to get out of bed at 4:30 in the morning to put on a bathing suit and go for a swim. It’s cold and dark outside and my bed is toasty and warm. But I can’t blow it off and then try to explain that to my coach. I’m not gonna be that gal. Plus the upside to forcing myself up and out in the dark is that: a) I get my exercise done before 6:30 am, and b) I feel fantastic for the rest of the day. Plus it’s only a half hour earlier than my normal wake up time, so it isn’t as awful as it seems. Honestly. And if you’re committed you do what it takes, right? Right.

So what is the moral of this week? That I can be angry and sad and scared and anxious, but that just means I have to work harder. I can’t give up and I won’t give up. I’m accountable to my students, my coach, and myself. And having backup – someone who is checking on me and making sure I am ok – means that I am not alone in this. And neither are you. I have your back. We are in this together and we are strong. Getting stronger.


So get out there and be a force for good in whatever way you can. Go for a walk. Talk to your neighbors. Read the news from actual journalists. Pay attention. Help other people. Get involved. Find a way to be positive and bring some light to the rest of us. We need it now more than ever.




Real Life Heroes

Yes, today is the day after Election Day. This is not the place for arguments or fights of any kind. I need a breather from Facebook and the news and TV. I don’t want to bring that kind of vibe to my happy little blog. So…breathe…


Let’s talk about heroes. Inspiration. Who inspires you? Who’s someone you look up to?

Have you heard of 80 year old Ernestine Shepherd? Or 83 year old Iron Nun ? I mean, how can anyone not feel inspired by this? They are powerhouses and role models for all that we can do if we really want to. I mean an 83 year old Iron Man Triathlete? C’mon…


As I said in my last post, I went through a mid-life crisis of sorts. I stopped exercising and really wondered if it was worth it to continue. Why keep going? I’m not getting anywhere. It felt like a waste of time. I was bored and spent a lot of time wondering what to do with myself instead of exercise. I forgot about Ms. Ernestine and Sister Iron Nun. They both started working out later in life and really committed to the righteous path of health and wellness (not to mention just completely kicking a mess of ass). I admired them both back when I first read about each of them and I admire them today. Just as I admire all the people lined up at the Y parking lot at 5:25 am waiting for the doors to open. We’re all cold and sleepy and totally committed to getting our endorphins on before we get on with the business of the day. It’s really cool.

I started working with my new coach last week. He was another brave soul who showed up at 0 dark thirty to give me swim lessons. We met Tuesday morning at 5:30 and again on Thursday. On Tuesday there were 2 people in the lap pool and 3 in the warm pool. On Thursday the same 5 people were there again. My peeps! My crew! The devoted. I was proud to be one of them. I count myself among them even though I’ve only gone 3 times because I am committed.

I guess in all honesty who knows what the future will bring?? I just want to do a good job at whatever I set my mind to. I am going to be brave and thankful for this life and this body and these awesome role models. And I’m going to hope for the best. Now is the time to spread love rather than succumb to the dark side. Well actually it’s always the time to spread love, not just now. But especially now. No matter your politics we all want to be healthy and strong in both mind and body. I’m pretty sure we can all agree on that, right?

And I’m off to hit the (running, not campaign) trail…


Long Time No See

It’s been a while. I had a roller coaster of a summer that actually left me feeling quite anxious a lot of the time. Instead of channeling my anxiety into my half marathon training like I imagined I would, I sat on the couch and watched Downton Abbey back to front and front to back again. I’m not proud of that. I do have 3 new chickens named Violet, Daisy and Marigold to show for that, though.

Anyway… I don’t want to dwell on all the excuses why I didn’t do the things I wanted to do. I’m here because I’ve worked through some of that so there is no need to rehash it all. Suffice it to say that women of a certain age, like *cough* me, may have something that is called a mid-life crisis. Hot flashes may or may not be a part of it (and if they are then they can make a woman rill cranky and miserable, so please be extra kind to her aka me). I think I was/am going through a bit of a mid-life crisis. Meaning, I am taking stock of my life to this point and thinking ahead to my next chapter and what I want to do. I’m making choices. Do I go back to school for my doctorate? Do I take expert knitting certification classes? Do I travel? Do I get off my ass and do some triathlons?

I love school. I work in a school. Bobby is getting his Master’s right now, so this isn’t really the best time to go back to school myself. And while I enjoy knitting I don’t really like all the sitting around, which is kind of surprising what with all the Downton Abbey binges… But triathlons… now that sounds exciting and interesting and slightly terrifying. Perfect.

So I found myself a coach. Actually my husband found me a coach. I hemmed and hawed about it for about 3 months. During that time I was supposed to be training for a half marathon (spoiler alert: I wasn’t training. I got to 8 miles and stopped. Stopped. Like zero running). Did I run the half that was last weekend? No. I ended up going down to the 5K. And I have to admit while it felt like such a relief to stop at the time, I felt real regret when I didn’t line up at the starting line with my cousin. Lesson learned. I called and committed with my coach for a phone session the next day.

I need this kick in the butt. I want this. I’ve tried to go it alone and what I’ve learned is that is really difficult. I need the support and the accountability. So I’m going to spend real money on this because it is real important to me. My next race is another 5K in December. This gives Coach and me some time to work together and evaluate how we’re doing. Then 2017 is triathlons. Multiple. Sprints and I’m hoping an Olympic too.

Ok, so my goals are:

  1. Learn how to train with my heart rate monitor.
  2. Be more consistent with my training. aka stop skipping all the workouts, lady.
  3. Improve my tri fundamentals, especially my swimming
  4. Improve my running time – 10 min miles (or less!)
  5. Cook and meal plan. If I’m not doing this then the training will fall apart.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what is important to me and I’ve gotten pretty clear on it: Bobby, family, home, work, and health. A mid-life crisis sometimes makes people have an affair or buy an expensive sports car. That’s not me. I want to go into this next chapter of my life as an athlete. I am a Triathlete (who may or may not be having a hot flash). I’m not ready for the knitting classes. Maybe I’ll get to that in another 46 years…

What I’ve learned is that it’s important to get clear about what you want. And if you don’t have what you want then how will you get it? Make a plan. Sitting around watching the world go by is depressing. And if you don’t know what you want to do then just start moving. Do something that moves you in a direction, any direction. The only way out of your current situation is through it.

Next week: training starts!

So today and tomorrow: meal planning, food shopping, and getting all the laundry done.


This week’s workouts plus tips for surviving humidity

So my goal for the summer is to exercise one hour per day, five days per week. 

I got 4 workouts in this week so far with another one planned for today. Boom.

My other goal is to eat salads with protein for lunch. 

I’d like to think it helps to balance out all the ice cream I’ve been eating. #moderation

Since June was comprised of sitting on the couch (mostly) and running (sporadically), this week’s workouts were a bit slower. I’d like to blame the humidity and lack of air conditioning in my house, but I know that’s just part of it. 

Speaking of humidity, I wanted to share a few tips for exercising safely during the hot summer months:

  1. Get outside early in the morning or later in the afternoon/evening. Avoid doing a strenuous workout between 10:00-4:00 when the sun is brightest and hottest.
  2. Bring water with you. I have a Camelback that I use for long runs. For shorter runs I usually leave my water bottle nearby.
  3. Find a route that has people watering their lawns. I love to take a quick run through the sprinkler. I’ll admit that I’ve also run through the sprinklers in my local water park too. So fun.
  4. Use a cooling towel. I bought one that I soak in water then apply to my neck and shoulders. But any damp towel will help bring down your temperature and cool you off.
  5. Slow down. This is not the time for crazy-strenuous speed workouts. Take walk breaks if needed. What’s great about training in humidity is that you will be stronger and faster in the fall when the weather cools down. Really.
  6. Wear sweat-wicking loose clothing. No cotton anything! Cotton is not your friend for a workout in humid weather. You’ll just get sweaty and wet and overheat and probably end up with swamp crotch. Eww. Dress for the weather. Tank tops and shorts are the uniform of the day.
  7. Stay indoors. Go to the gym and use the treadmill in the air conditioning. Nothing wrong with that.
  8. And when you’re done give youself a high five for being a badass. Working out in the humidity is not easy.

Any other tips for exercising in humid weather?