Monday, October 31, 2011

Hello Mr. Shark

Time was a little tight with having to be back at the kids' school at 2 PM for Halloween parties, but I managed to get in a 40+ min swim in at the ARC.  And I felt pretty good while doing it!  I did some drills (almost exclusively catch up drills plus a couple rounds of fist) and counted some strokes (I might be down a stroke or two from last time).  In general, I was feeling on the slow side, but strong.  Overall, not bad for not swimming for two weeks due to being sick last week (and the pool I use being 40 min drive away).  Nice to see Mr. Shark make a brief appearance.

Kids are all psyched up for trick-or-treating tonight.  They had fun at their school parties and dressing up today for "crazy day" (they don't get to wear costumes at their school, but get to dress silly).  My son decided he was "dressed crazy" because he was wearing three different camo patterns.  Cracked me up!  My daughter was all mismatched and clashing (turquoise plaid shorts, tie dye shirt, one Halloween sock of mine and a purple Hello Kitty sock of hers and a Hanna Montana wig that has seen better days).  Tonight, he is pretty much wearing the same thing and going as "soldier" (his standard getup) and my daughter is going as a rodeo cowgirl.  Now to stay out of all their treats!

Weather is supposed to be warmer tomorrow so I think it will be a bike day.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Quick bike ride w/ my girl

With my husband still working crazy long night shifts and trying to sleep during the day, my kid-free time is really limited.  So tonight I made the best of it and took my 7 year old daughter with me on my first post-sickness bike ride.  I pedaled ahead of her a little bit and, as she tired near the midway point, I went quickly ahead and turned around to come back to her.  She must have been hungry or tired or both - she was much more whiney than on past rides - cried after part of one hill.  The sun was starting to set and it was getting cooler (note to self - she doesn't belong with me on the anything much colder than 60°).  So I told her to catch her breath - gave her a drink - and suck it up and ride home.  I didn't make her add any extra distance since she was obviously not in the mood.  So it was pretty short and sweet - 5 miles in about 30 min.  Better than nothing.

I discussed the YMCA membership with my husband.   He thought it would be pretty good for the coldest months - for both me and the kids.  So I'll probably going to try to suck it up without it another 2-4 weeks, but then for December - March do the Y membership (even though I'll have to pay the $100 joining fee for not signing a contract for a year).  So I think I'm going to punt the trainer purchase for now.  So many other things to save up for.

And can't let the day go by without saying:  HOW ABOUT THOSE CARDINALS??  YEE HAW!!!  What a bunch of great games to watch this last week!  Wahoo!!  Way to win the World Series!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Back from the Dead

By Tuesday, whatever my chest cold was morphed into a combined sinus infection, stomach bug, chest congestion crap that made me feel like death - and not even the "warmed over" kind.  I slept part of the afternoon after a conference call in the morning.  Eating didn't go well and dinner didn't stay down.  Made for a lovely Weight Loss Wednesday (lowest number of the year), but I slowly started feeling less pukey on Wednesday afternoon.  Getting a little more food in me brought some strength back and I thought about going for a walk, but the cold rain and still feeling sluggish squashed that plan.  So today, with there being a bit more sun and me keeping a bit more food down, I started to feel a little antsy.  I think that is a good thing.  I had kind of worried that this would be my "falling off the wagon". 

So this evening, I'm still fighting what feels like concrete setting in my sinuses and a little bit of a chesty cough (as that stuff drains to my lungs and gets coughed back up), but I decided to go for a short walk/run.  I walked briskly for 5 min, then ran 1 min/walked 1 min for about another 25 min with a short walk cool down.  Went about 2.2 miles.  Not great, but not bad for a girl "back from the dead".

Going to take it easy again tomorrow morning.  Kids have early release and then parent/teacher conferences in the afternoon.  If I feel up to it, maybe I'll do a short bike ride when we get home. Otherwise, that will be on tap for the weekend.  It is supposed to warm up a little.  It was 50° this evening while I was out.  Used my new ear band.

Totally off subject, but I was pretty stoked about this - my daughter found the gold watch I lost several weeks ago!  The one my husband gave me as a wedding present 16 years ago.  It had fallen down in the side panel pocket of my car door and she was digging for a pack of gum and found it on Saturday.  God bless her and her tiny little hands!  Still using the cheapo sports watch I bought for walking/running since it has a great stopwatch feature.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Lungs hurt - not from workout

I felt it coming on all weekend, but by last night and certainly this morning it was here.  What was just a little tickle and light cough yesterday has made me feel super crappy today.  I don't know whether it is because the weather turned back super warm this weekend or if the drainage from my allergies finally got the better of me or what, but my lungs hurt like I ran a long way except that I ran all of about 100 yards yesterday.  And my stomach feels like it is still digesting the food I ate yesterday and what little I've consumed today - nausea is no fun!

I haven't really been sick much of the last 6 months so it has kind of thrown me for a loop.  I'm hoping this is short lived.  I did have some tea this morning (w/ lemon and honey), a little bit of Emergen-C (that nearly had me throwing up my light breakfast) and some chicken soup for lunch.  Please Lord don't let my husband get it - nor the kids.  I'll power through, but I only want to have to take care of me.  Especially since my dear husband found out that instead of 6x12's (night shifts) this week it is 7.  No rest for the weary - so he really can't afford to be sick. 

Yesterday I did get in a pretty good long walk with a bunch of Brownies (Girl Scouts) putting flyers out for our "Trick or Treat for Cans" that is planned for Friday.  Even ran with one mom up a steep hill (although I petered out before her).  Better than no workout I suppose.

The up side of feeling crappy today is that I laid in bed for part of the day letting work slide for the most part.  I enjoyed finishing "Born to Run".  Now if I can get myself back in the saddle to return my books via bicycle again.

How do you handle when sickness gets in the way of your workout plans?  At one point of "on the mend" do you suck it up and power through a workout?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Against the Wind (Bike Ride)

The sun came back out today (never saw it on Wuss Wed) and by mid-afternoon it had finally climbed into the very low 50's, but the wind (W-NW) was still in full force.  I picked up the kiddos, worked with my husband to give the house a "lick and a promise" kind of cleaning and then took off the last hour he was home to get in a bike ride.  I missed saying goodbye to him by a few minutes, but knew that would probably happen.  I did about 11 (slow) miles by myself and then added another mile and some change with my daughter who wanted to brave the cool wind for a quick ride down the road and back. 

I did a few hills to get that heart rate up.  But I also had a lot of thoughts about one thing:  when I start doing my "bike rides" indoors I won't have to go "against the wind" (queu music).  Oh dear Lord in Heaven - I felt like I was pedaling and going nowhere heading west - even on the flats!  It was not a good time.  And it was so weird to be sweaty and cold at the same time.  I had trouble remembering to drink although my mouth got dry a couple times. 

I still don't own a trainer and haven't figured out if I am going to buy one or just use a stationary bike at the ARC or maybe even suck it up and get a Y membership.  So many things to spend our money on in this crazy sport.  But I decided that is a whole other post.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Swim Tue - Wuss Wed

Given I wasn't ready for the meeting I had with a client this morning, I didn't get around to writing this last night as I was hastily prepping for it.  But in between everything yesterday, I snuck in a very quick 30 min swim.  I had full intentions of following a "workout plan", but I wasn't really mentally "there" enough.  I got to the ARC with only 35 minutes before they closed for afternoon maintenance of the pool.  Grr...should have left the office earlier. 

So I literally stripped in one motion and yanked on my suit in another and ran from the locker room with 30 min to swim.  I think this made me feel rushed the whole workout.  And I was thinking about all the other stuff I needed to do throughout the afternoon/evening - serious lack of focus.  I did a quick warmup (like 5 min tops - 200 yards or so) and then tried to count my strokes on each lap.  Is it awful that I was having a hard time counting?  First 25 yards, I struggled to decide whether to count each arm stroke or every other stroke (full cycle) - all while trying to count and swim at the same time.  Yep, maybe should have decided FIRST!  But I finally decided it was easier to count every other and just double it.  I averaged between 20-22 strokes per 25 yards. 

Then I tried to do some drills, but again seemed to have trouble coordinating my brain, strokes and breathing.  Did some catch up and catch ups with thumb scrapes (when I thought of it).  Tried some fist drills and felt like I was drowing.  I need to look at that one on a Youtube video again and see what I can do to correct the form.  I'm sure I wasn't doing it right.  Only did it for 50 yards.  I was not mentally in the game of the drills. 

So there were two younger guys in one of the lanes - one appearing to be teaching/coaching the other.  At the end, the "coach" told the "student" to swim the length of the lane as quickly as he could and then stop at the wall for one quick breath and turn around and hit it going back.  He had him do this several times.  All of the times I beat him across the pool (and this guy looked pretty buff so that made me feel pretty good).  I also noticed he was having to catch his breath longer than me.  Sometimes I'm pretty cool! :)  But time was up and I had to throw on my clothes and get going.

While my daughter was in Brownies last night, I had planned on working on the project for this morning, but one of the other moms was going for a walk around the school grounds and adjoining parking lot so I went with her.  She walked kind of slow (her phone said we were doing 18 min miles), but we did 2 miles while the girls did their crafts and so on.  Better than nothing and I only stayed up until about 10:45 after I was home to get the markups to the project made. 

Today I had the meeting in the morning.  It was postponed an hour after I was already at Kinkos making copies so I stopped in to look at some warmer workout clothes options at Target.  They had a really neat jacket I liked, but I wasn't as impressed with any of the other clothes I tried out.  It didn't get out of the 40's today and was super windy - too cold for the capris and shorts I have been wearing.  Since I started this journey in April, I haven't really dealt with this working out in this weather yet.  Maybe I'll go to the running store next time I'm in Columbia and see how much it will set me back to get appropriate gear.  I am sure coming up with a BIG list for Santa this year!

So the short story is that I had planned to try to get some kind of workout in while the boys had football practice tonight, but I wussed out due to the cold/wind/impending darkness and instead settled in with a nice bowl of soup at Panera while finishing the last of "Run Like a Girl" (a thoroughly enjoyable read btw).  But now I gotta figure out how to get in a workout tomorrow.  I haven't rode my bike for well over a week.  And of course, I'm overdue for some housework too and I now have to dodge my husband's daytime sleeping schedule.  Guess this next few weeks will just have to fit in the "do what you can" category. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

T Walk/Run

Today started out cool and cloudy.  I was also needing to catch up on nearly a week of blog reading work and thought it would be better to get something done before going out for a bike ride.  Well, one thing led to another and it never happened.  It did rain (something I haven't had to work around much the last several weeks), but then stopped about the time the kids got home from school.  They had a lot of stuff to supervise finishing so I took a break from "work" and skipped the bike ride as the weather was pretty dark.

My husband left for his crappy night shift and I took my daughter with me to the grocery store and came home still hoping to fit in a workout.  After some supper that I should have eaten before I left, I decided I would go for a walk/run even though it was dark.  My daughter wasn't keen on being home with her brother so I told her she could go with me.  Two steps out the door and she sees lightening in the distance and says she doesn't want to go after all - and doesn't want me to go.  So we settled on that I would only run while it wasn't raining and wouldn't be far from the house.  So I ran down our little street (only 3 houses deep, but all hill), around the cul-de-sac bulb, then back up, then down to the right to where the sidewalk ends and then back to the intersection and down to the end of our property (we own two deep lots).  I did this weird little T four times in about 30 min.  Turns out each one is a little over a 0.5 mile and includes 85' of climbing.  But my daughter was happy as it did start to rain on my last T and I could come right in.  Better than sitting on the couch I suppose. 

Today I also turned over a new leaf on my eating.  I have really been slacking on this lately - having soda whenever I'm feeling sluggish, eating too many carbs by justifying the fact that I need energy for workouts, rarely seeing a real vegetable on my plate.  Just not good!  So today I stuck with water (even though I had a wicked headache this afternoon - caffeine withdrawal?).  I also wrote it all down with notes about the what, when, where, how and why.  Just not wanting to write down that I ate or drank something awful is a big help!  We'll see if this helps move the scale over the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Back from Trip

One day and night in St. Louis and three days plus two nights in downtown Chicago did not make for a ton of organized exercise, but we are starting a new week.  I did go to the gym at the top of the Allerton Hotel on Friday morning and did a stationary bike/crossramp/treadmill brick.  It was 30 min on the upright bike followed by 10 min on what I thought was an elliptical machine, but turned out to be kind of a mix with a stairstepper and really made my quads/butt burn.  Then I did a short workout on the treadmill with a walk run mix.  Did some stretching before my shower and heading over to the conference.

Otherwise there was a lot of schlepping my duffel bag (with 3 days worth of clothes) around the convention center (first and last day).  I also did a ton of walking around the Miracle Mile since I didn't have a car - dinner out with friends at Quay on Thur night (walking to the restaurant and back to the hotel), donut dash several blocks away on Saturday morning with friends (I was running late) and tons of time on my feet in general.  Better than nothing as far as exercise.  But need to head out for a walk tonight and probably a nice bike ride tomorrow.

Eating while gone wasn't that great either.  Ate too much at nearly every meal - too many desserts, two margaritas (one Wed night and one Thur night), a couple of sodas, etc.  I weighed myself this morning and was up a couple pounds.  After thinking about the CTER post about food logs, I think that my plan for trying to reign in the poor food choices is to be more accountable for what I'm putting in my mouth.  I liked Jason's advice about thinking about the why, when, how of the eating as opposed to just the "what".  So that is a goal for the next couple of weeks. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Walmart 5K (not a race)

Nope - just like last week's "Brownie 5K" this is just a way to remember where I went.  I live right at about 1.5 miles from my local Walmart.  The route between here and there has sidewalk all but part of my street (the older section).  My neighbor told me that it is right at about a 5K and this morning I check it on Map My Ride and from my driveway to Walmart's back driveway (into the vehicle service area) and back is indeed 3.1 miles (yay!).  And it has some slight inclines and one bigger hill on the return so I don't get to just coast through flat terrain.  Plus, it is along collector and arterial streets so no safety worries mid-day.

Unfortunately, waiting until midday made it a little bit warm, but I wanted to get a project out the door this morning before I'm gone the rest of the week so que sera sera.  It wasn't that bad - 78° and 52% humidity with almost no wind (S 3 mph).  I warmed up with a 10 min brisk walk and stretched in front of Scholastic's office and then tried to run 60 sec/walk 60 sec until I was almost home.  I had to go 30/30 a few times and 30-90 a couple times (hill), but it wasn't too bad.  I also walked the end to try to cool down a little.  Still managed to do the 5K in just slightly over what I did it two weeks ago in a race (43 min instead of 42 - didn't include stretch time).  Go me!

Tomorrow is a long travel day - up at ass crack of dawn and drive to Chesterfield (St. Louis burb) for a conference all day, vendor/networking event until 7 and then back towards the airport to stay the night so I'm going to take it as a rest day.  If time/energy and hotel accomodations allow, I'll try to get in a short workout Thur morning.  Otherwise I'll just walk around the airport before my flight and then tons of walking I'm sure in Chicago.  Not dragging a laptop with me so I'll probably be incommunicado until Sunday.  Have a great week!

Day in the Life

Shut Up and Run (aka SUAR) suggested that all of her blogger friends (do stalkers count?) do a "day in the life" post to try to win some cool SUAR swag.  I totally could use a visor/hat because my Rx sunglasses bleed sunlight in the top! :)  So here goes (with as many pics as I could get in):

My weekdays tend to be pretty "run of the mill" so I chose Monday, October 10th for my "day in the life".    I got up and threw on my robe after weighing myself.  Found out that the pesky chip basket at the Mexican joint on Saturday night did me in again.  Up a little (very standard Monday - ugh).  Then I started making lunches for the kiddos.

Then I got the kiddos up.  I had to help my daughter who is fighting wicked allergies with this dry fall (and the wind we've been having) clean out her eyes and do some drops.  Not fun!  I settled her in with an ice pack (leftover from my lactation days) to reduce the swelling. 

Otherwise, the morning routine went pretty normal - everyone into school clothes (pretty easy for kids to get dressed when navy/khaki/white are the only choices), socks, shoes, breakfast (waffles for the girl, Cheerios for the boy), ensure girl has brushed hair and assist with ponytail (boy gets No.2 clipper guard every 4 weeks so we don't have to do this with him!).

But today we were all moving a little slow (plus with the eye drama) so we headed out the door a smidgen late (after I threw on clothes 2 minutes after we are normally out the door - yikes).  Dropped the kids off at school and ran home to finish getting myself ready.  Then off to Columbia (40 minutes door to door) with this beautiful color along the way (better in person, but you get the idea - hard to take a pic while driving!).  Stopped for gas and breakfast (too ashamed to take photo - thought of CTER's discussion about food logs showing the what/where/when/why).

Got to my friend's office - Gene the surveyor and I go way back.  I told him I'd come by today to sort out a floodplain elevation issue on a project he's working on.  Took me way longer than I'd planned (I hate the FEMA Map Service Center web site!!)  Then I made a slide for my Society of Women Engineers section with pictures for the slide show at the conference later this week.  Headed across town to the ARC.  Got my swim on in these lap lanes.  Unfortunately, at 1:30 every weekday (not sure on weekends), they close this pool for 1.5 hours for "maintenance".  So I got kicked out and this is what it looked like as I left:

 Stopped in and bought my son a mini photo album to put his summer conservation camp pics in ($1 store). Also stopped for a soda and burger (2 PM is too late for lunch - and I almost left this out since I'm ashamed again).  Then headed back down the happy highway for home enjoying some more awesome color (and more difficulty getting pics while driving):

Got back to town with 30 min to spare so went on home and cleaned out my car and checked a couple blogs.  Then back to school to pick up kids and sit in the long carpool line (once I could even get in the parking lot).  Picked up my kids and two of the neighbor's kids and headed for home dropping the spare two on the way.

Then the usual afternoon homework, start the laundry, etc.  I worked on packing up parts of the rest of the week's lunches since I'll be out of town and mother-in-law will have to take over the normal morning routine.  Then I typed up the routine for each morning and added all the info on where I'd be each day and what other commitments were on the family calendar.  Evening rolled on as I sent the boy off to football practice and fed the girl and me (corn dogs - yes it was an awful diet day)/let the girl play while I did some research for a client and wrote my swim blog post.  Read some more blogs.  Later realized it was dark and she hadn't done her nightly reading yet so I had her do that.  Ran both kids through the shower and folded laundry.  Sent/read a few more emails/blogs.

Flipped through channels for maybe 30 min and gave up and went to bed.  Couldn't sleep so I got up and started this post before I forgot everything anyway.  I work for myself so my work days vary based on the load (pretty light right now) and other obligations as a mom/wife.  While this was a pretty typical day, Monday was the only day this week that was going to be this "normal" because Tuesday is "early release" day (once/month kids get out at 2:00 instead of 3:05 for staff meeting) although I'll work at home all day so not a big deal.

Then Wed-Sat I'm leaving for two overlapping conferences (International Erosion Control Association Great Rivers Chapter in St. Louis and then Society of Women Engineers national conference in Chicago).  I don't travel much normally - usually up and back same day for even my more remote clients - so it figures these two events were back to back.  But thus the need to kind of lay out everything I do for a very forgetful mother-in-law.  Will miss my kiddos, but I'm kind of looking forward to my water quality geek friends on Wed and my generally awesome women engineer friends the rest of the week.  I'm sure I'll be beat when I get home late on Sat!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Peek at the shark

Hit the ARC today for the last 40-45 minutes of lap swim before their 1:30-3:00 maintenance shutdown (every day?  really?).  I had to share a lane for about 3/4 of the swim, but both were good lane partners.  No biggie.  The water was a little cooler than it has been the last few times which is good because I swear last week I felt like I was sweating while swimming and that isn't fun (plus it tends to fog the goggles more - really need to get me some anti-fog stuff - what do you use?).  I started out feeling pretty strong - thinking I might have caught a glimpse of my inner shark.  I must have gone out a little too hard though as I started feeling tired and slow in the middle and then felt a little better towards the end (better form?).  I tried to count laps, but my mind wandered as I tired and then I tried to count again towards the end, but only got to 7 when they blew the whistle to get out (a couple min early even!).  I must have swam kind of hard as I felt a little woozy getting out and feel pretty tired this evening.

I did take a picture of the pool as I am going to try to do a "day in the life" as discussed on SUAR's blog.  I forgot this morning, but can recreate it tomorrow morning as getting lunches packed and kids off to school is about the same every day.  Something to look forward to - although my days aren't that exciting.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

6x4x4 Bike Ride

A friend had suggested this workout a couple weeks ago, but for a variety of reasons (not the least of which was my 4 day mental vacation this week) I hadn't gotten around to it.  But after all of the inspiration of yesterday's championships and the continued gorgeous weather here in central Missouri, I made sure there were no excuses today.  Although I have to admit, that this:

made me briefly think about one excuse.  Note how nearly straight out that flag is flying.  Note all of the sunshine and hardly any clouds.  The good news was that it was in the 70s for temps and the humidity is about 40%.  The kids were happily left at home so it was just me and my bike. 

I started out with a nice easy warm up for about 10 min, then I attempted to do 6 "hard" minutes followed by 4 "easy" minutes, 4 times with a pretty easy 10 min or so cool down.  Part of the purpose of this is to get a better feel for "hard" versus "easy".  What I found was that I couldn't really get to "hard" on the flat topography.  I could only get up to "medium" by up'ing the cadence and switching to harder gears.  So I added some hills to try to get in enough "hard" - and boy, I could feel "hard" deep in my lungs.  But it was hard to stick exactly with the 6x4 plan because sometimes you'd hit a downhill during a hard section or you'd be finishing a hill on an easy section.  So I went a little longer trying to get it somewhere close.  I rode about 1 hr 12 min (including warmup/cool down) which was a little over 12.5 miles. 

Oh, and as for that flag - I definitely could feel the 10 mph E-SE wind in my face on parts of my loops (I was never more than about 3 miles from home on mostly an E-W route).  It kind of sucked!  But thankfully it jived fairly well with the "hard" sections.

Tomorrow I have to meet my surveyor friend in the morning in Columbia to help him with a flood elevation certificate so that means it will be "swim" day.  Yay!

Kona Inspiration

This last week started out pretty strong even with the ATV accident, but one rest day midweek turned into a complete losing of my motivation (and 3 more rest days - ack!)  But yesterday, as I was totally was being reinspired by the awesomeness that is IronmanLive in Kona!  Although the technology was giving me some fits, I loved every live blog update and each second of video.

I can't believe so few bloggers have said much about the incredible races yesterday.  Julie Dibens rocking out the bike with a huge lead over Chrissie at one point and then I come back from going out to dinner and she isn't even in the race anymore?  And Rinny chasing Chrissie down and trying to close that last few minute gap at the end?  Crowie totally setting a course record by 12 seconds?  Over 1000 racers (including an awful lot of crazy fast age groupers - including one CMC gal!!  Yay Jackie!) going sub-11.  Just too much awesomeness for one day!

And to add motivation to this incredible inspiration, CMC took their SIXTH national club championship in Myrtle Beach yesterday!  Way to go!  I hope to someday feel worthy of toeing the starting line with you.  I had briefly thought about it this year, but I wouldn't have contributed much in points given my severe newbie status, but the course looked so awesome and CMC has such great support and sponsorship for this race.  Maybe next year!  Just too much travel already scheduled for this week for me.

So before the sun sets today I will get out there and get a nice long bike ride in.  Have a meeting in Columbia tomorrow so there will be a swim.  No excuses.  No laziness.  This week has got to go better!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Brownie 5K+/-

I really wasn't feeling it today.  My mood was crappy and I felt like snacking all day.  I didn't get much work done.  I was just blah!  Hello PMS!  I was feeling slightly less physically sore and beat up, but wasn't excited about getting in a workout.  Then I noticed that it was Brownie meeting night.  So I thought to myself "No excuses! Shut up and walk/run already!"  My 7 year old daughter's Brownie Girl Scout meetings are an hour long and held at our church/school.  No reason I can't spend most of that time on the sidewalks.

I decided to mix it up and take a different route.  One of the other moms took a walk in the same general direction, but at a much slower pace and shorter planned distance so I didn't stay with her past the first intersection.  Instead I headed off at a brisk walk and broke into a jog at the 5 min mark.  I alternated some walking and jogging doing a loop through Lincoln University campus and back up towards church.  The problem was it was getting kind of dark towards the end and the campus isn't in the greatest neighborhood.  Note to self - don't go this way again.  I mapped it tonight (roughly) and it was right at about 3 mi. 

I felt pretty strong for part of the time, but the last part sucked because my shins were starting to argue with me.  I was in the last few blocks anyway so I just decided it was time to cool down by returning to a brisk walk.  Got back and did some stretching while chatting with the other moms as the girls had their snack.  Then came home and stretched some more and did some core work while watching some Biggest Loser.  Been a while since I've done much of that - it was much easier this time.  I really need to incorporate more strength work in general. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

A little beat up...but swam anyway

I definitely felt some of the 11+ miles of my Saturday in my legs that night as I lay in bed.  And I expected that there would be a little more stiffness on Sunday evening after sitting on an ATV for several hours on Sunday (plus you do engage some core as you manage balance on some rough terrain).  But what I didn't count on was my son flipping us over about 15-20 min into the day-long ride. 

He has been driving our Honda Recon alone and with a parent for a while now, but he mostly is in open pasture and this was much more technical going through woods and ditches.  He didn't gear down and spun going up an embankment from a ditch.  Then he panicked and hit the throttle instead of just braking and yelling for help (my husband was right in front of us and another UV was right behind us).  This is a pretty light machine and not 4WD.  So, in slow motion, the whole thing flipped over on top of us.  Thankfully, the rack on the back took some of the weight of the machine off me, but I had part of my son's 119 lbs and part of the machine's weight and all of my weight pressing my left arm/shoulder/hip into the rocks and mud.  My son's left hand/knuckles got trapped under the handlebar, but we laid there for mere seconds before my husband got us free and helped us up.  My daughter (who was riding with her dad) was hysterical, but my son and I were both kind of stunned.  We were just glad to be basically ok - just a few bumps, bruises and scrapes.

The ATV started right back up and I drove it the rest of the morning while my son rode with his dad.  As we continued on, I got a little teared up thinking about how much worse it could have been.  He drove again a little bit after lunch, but let me take control on a few more inclines.  I was proud of him for not letting it get him down.  We both were feeling a little beat up last night so we iced his hand some more and I took some ibuprofen.  I woke up a lot last night as I found new places that were sore every time I moved in bed.  The only visible marks are a big bruise on my arm and some scrapes/small bruise on my back.  I had a jacket tied around my waist that cushioned a little of the blow to my left hip, but I can feel the soreness deeper in (no visible bruise).

But today I wanted to work out some of the stiffness in my left shoulder and had to come to Columbia for business anyway so I went to get my swim in at the ARC.  I didn't feel particularly fast most of the time and some of it outright stunk.  But I got through it.  I figured that was OK for today.  Forty minutes - probably barely 1500 yards - win some, lose some.  If my husband is up for it, might take a short walk after dinner.  If not, I won't be all that bummed to just chill.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Anniversary of Sorts...Not Triathlon Related

Today is October 1, 2011.  Exactly one year ago today I packed up the remains of my cubicle home for the last time and came home to a lot of prayer of what God's plan was for my life.  I had over 15 years of experience as a civil engineer and had never been unemployed before.  The consulting firm I worked for had gone through at least 3 staff reductions over the previous 2 years.  I don't know why I was so stupid to not see it coming.  Maybe because I was busy when the called me and four others into the conference room one at a time and laid us off.  Oh, and in our industry - that really means fired...not that they will call us back some day when they need staff again.  Except they told us earlier in Sept and sent the other four immediately home that day telling me that I had until Oct 1 because a principal had told them that he needed me to finish a project for him before I left.  But laying me off just meant that they didn't really have cause other than they couldn't foresee enough workload to justify us staying on.  Never mind a couple of guys making way more than me that continue to be there wasting oxygen. 

So the question in my head was "Well, what do I do now?"  And the answer was that I had a certain amount of clients that would follow me because there wasn't anyone at that 9-office firm that did what I did for them.  And it looked like I would have at least a little work for the old company as a subcontractor because they were still under contractual obligation to some of "my" clients.  And given central MO isn't the mecca of engineering opportunity and no one else was really hiring, I dove into the complete unknown of being self-employed.  There was a lot of stumbling around that first few months.  I spent 2 months obtaining liability insurance (oh yeah, with the pollution rider since I do Clean Water Act stuff), wrote a business plan (yeah, they didn't teach us about those in engineering school), and tried to get the word out to my "network" about my "new adventure" without sounding too bitter about how it came to pass.

The spring brought a big subdivision project (yeah, that I haven't gotten completely paid for yet) and the summer brought annual report season for my municipal stormwater clients (thankfully, they did pay promptly), but this fall brought a work slowdown that feels like someone put on the brakes.  I had goals for this first year.  I got about 70% there - that feels like a C-.  But I managed to keep my head above water so maybe I should be more grateful for what this year has been. 

Unemployment hit our household again the end of July when my husband was laid off again (electrician - this does mean he would get recalled as work picked up).  He'd had a good run - 20 months of 40 hr/week.  But we'd been living on his income so it was a hit.  Thankfully, we're very conservative with saving when he's working so we're fine and, also thankfully, he was asked by the hall to go out to the nuclear plant for a shutdown project this fall which he started this last Tue.  Will be nice to be able to pay bills without dipping so far into savings.

I do recognize that my owner/principal engineer status has afforded me some flexibility I would have never had if I were still working for "the man".  This summer when I got up early and got in a brick workout (45 min bike/30 min brisk walk) would not have been possible if I had to be at work 40 min away at 8 AM.  Or when I would knock off at 2 or 3 PM on Friday and take my son to the pool so we could both get some exercise.  Or when I would swim for 30-45 minutes during the workday at the ARC (ok, I might have been able to swap a lunch hour or two for that one, but still - it was nice not to have to worry about what I looked like when I was done).  So maybe part of God's plan was that I would finally be able to take some time to take care of me.  To move me from a girl who couldn't swim 25 yards, couldn't walk step for step with my husband and thought 5 miles on the bike on flat terrain was a "killer workout" to this person that finished two sprint triathlons and a couple of 5k's and has lofty goals for next year.

What will this next year bring me as I grow as a business owner, a triathlete and a person?  Will be interesting to see.  Went to mass this evening and thanked God that we made it through this first year and to give me strength to get through this next one.  I also thanked Him that I am able to do the things I can do with this slowly shrinking body and prayed for continued progress on my fitness goals.  I thanked the Lord for the extra time I've gotten to spend with my children now that I am the one that picks them up from school most days and for the other times I've been able to participate in their lives.  So many times I want to kick God out of the driver's seat, but I know that I must surrender my willfulness.  I need to believe that His plans are greater than mine.

OK - we'll be back to regular scheduled programming soon.

Jog for Cause 5K + Functional Fitness

Got up and moving this morning to head out to a little local race to raise a little money for breast cancer research (a fundraising team entitled "Save the Wonder Twins" - love it!).  This was organized by a friend of a friend and it is just a couple exits down the highway from my house which are the two reasons I chose it over the other races in the area today.  It was also super duper cheap ($15 if you paid by early bird deadline) and that included a T-shirt.  I wanted to establish a 5K time without my 7 year old affecting the time so I went alone.  I only knew one other person in the race (which kind of surprised me) and then the one gal that was one of the organizers.  Should definitely recruit some other friends for my next 5K!

Jog for the Cause started at the Taos, MO, Knights of Columbus hall, ran down to/into/out of Bradford Court, back down Hwy M to the park entrance and then down the long driveway of the park to the finish "chute"/flags.  There was awesome law enforcement (sheriff) support to control traffic and one little water station about half way through by the church.  Weather remained sunny and gorgeous even if a little cool (44° when I left the house - brr).

I'll have to double check, but I think the official time was 42:05 for just over a 13:34 min/mile pace.  The first mile was much stronger (more flat/downhill and got a little caught up in the starting line energy) with a 12:07 split (according to my cheapo Walmart watch) with the 2nd mile slowing way down (much more going up hill) to about 15:30 with the 3rd mile picking a little back up (mostly because I wanted to be done, but there was a pretty good downhill too) to about 13:30 and then I tried to run it in!  I came in 60th overall out of about 140 walkers/runners.  So even though it was mostly walkers behind me, I'll call that a top 45% finish.  When you are slow as shit, it don't take much to set a new PR!

Oh, and of course there were a few of those asshat runners that ran the course backwards, talked about doing another 5, 7, 10, etc miles afterwards to get in their training for half-mary's/full mary's, etc.  Like I don't feel bad enough about a 42 min 5K to have their incredible fitness rubbed in my face.  Oh, and the guy in a Boston Marathon t-shirt.  Yeah..those types.  LOL

Rushed off after grabbing a half bagel and banana at the end to catch my son's football game only to find out they had changed the schedule and the game was later.  Oh well, got to wash my face and grab a folding chair to take out to the field.  Hung out while my nephew's team finished getting their butts kicked and then while our team battled it out for a 18-12 win so they are now 1-1-1.  Then we all went out to lunch and ate too much (ugh - I should really learn). 

I came home and gathered my things to run an errand. The "functional fitness" part of my day was putting my library book, ID, and phone in a little backpack and heading out to the library on my bike.  It is 8+ miles round trip and I didn't try to push speed, but did manage to ride up a couple of the ugly hills between here and there.  Had to walk the one on Doehla on the ride back because I couldn't get my bike to downshift and lost momentum trying to get it done.  It is a short hill so I just walked it up and then rode the rest of the way home.  I did the whole trip in about an hour including locking up the bike to return the book, find and check out two more.  I took Kovas's suggestion and picked up "Run Like a Girl" and then a few others who said "Born to Run" was an interesting read.  Both were on shelf so yeehah for that.

Tomorrow will be a long day with probably about 30 miles on a charity ATV ride down near Freeburg, MO.  The weather appears to be holding and the beginning of fall color should be gorgeous through there.  We'll see a lot of my husband's extended family so should be a great day.